Monday, 9 February 2009
Today’s image comes from 1930s Germany where the business of promoting Portland Cement was obviously taken very seriously. It’s a highly competent exercise in sachplakat employing clearly defined areas of flat colour to describe form in the manner made famous by Lucian Bernhard and Ludwig Hohlwein. The trick lies in precision drawing technique, skilled simplification of form and shape and an excellent eye for colour. The influence of William Nicholson and James Pryde helped to kick-start this reaction against the formal complexities of Art Nouveau but the robustly reductive approach was especially popular with German graphic designers and poster artists. As the style developed in the inter-war years it began to absorb some of the formal innovations of Cubism. The detail of the hands could almost be the work of Juan Gris.