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Glorious Posters
Celebrating Four Master Artists of the 20th Century

Curated by William J. Dane 
Third Floor Gallery
January 18 - March 31, 2001

An exhibition entitled Glorious Posters to Celebrate Four Master Artists of the 20th Century: Romare Bearden, Roy Lichtenstein, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso is currently on view in the gallery of The Newark Public Library at 5 Washington Street in Newark's Downtown Cultural Center.

The theme of dynamic posters was selected to appeal to the fast growing public interest in the art of poster design and quality production. The sixty works on view are posters designed by or using images created by the four widely celebrated artists who had great influence on the international art scene during the century just passed.
Crying Girl, offset lithograph by Roy Lichtenstein, 1963.

Most agree that Picasso was the most prolific and influential artist who lived during the 20th century and that in addition to co-inventing the concepts of Cubism along with Georges Braque, his output was spectacular including not only painting and sculpture, but also collage, etching, lithography, linoleum cuts, drawing and ceramics.

He created many of his ceramic pieces in Vallauris, a small town in southern France, and a group of his ceramic plates as published by Skira in 1950, is shown along with a poster of his celebrated portrait of Gertrude Stein, the American writer of experimental prose and major enthusiast for the work of modern artists in the early decades of the 20th century. Miss Stein left the historic painting to The Metropolitan Museum in her will and it makes for a stunning poster combining literary and artistic associations.
Poster created by Pablo Picasso for his exposition in Vallauris, France, 1953.
Poster showing six color lithograph made from a collage by Henri Matisse.
Color is the major visual feature in the posters of French artist, Henri Matisse. He frequently used highly ornamental patterns in his paintings and prints along with affectionate and sensual images of women. These are displayed in works by this master artist plus posters and illustrations from his monumental book, "Jazz" first published in 1947 in a super-deluxe edition.
The cutouts for these images reveal the artist's involvement with the circus, the theater, and the joys of life which he experienced in his final years while living in Nice on the French Riviera. Matisse himself called the iconography for Jazz "drawing with scissors". The colorful compositions have been used on several occasions in posters featuring his work.
Figure from Jazz by Henri Matisse, 1947.
Poster for Lincoln Center by Roy Lichtenstein, 1966.
Roy Lichtenstein who taught studio painting at Douglass College in New Brunswick, New Jersey for several years in the early 1960's, first became famous as a daring Pop Art personality with his comic-strip subjects which truly created a sensation. As the years moved along, his images took on new meaning for contemporary audiences and his work in various media was widely copied and collected by a worldwide public.
At the time of his death in 1997, the trustees of The Museum of Modern Art saluted the artist in the following statement; "Few artists so admired in the inner circles of the art world have had such a global impact on the visual sensibility of their time, and fewer still have commanded such a special blend of love and respect from those who knew him. He altered the way we see our culture, and the way we think and feel about it."
Roy Lichtenstein screenprint for a Guggenheim Museum poster.

Romare Bearden was active and well recognized as a jazz musician in the 1940s after which he returned once again to his earlier avocation of painting in the 1950s. He gained recognition for his illustrations of daily life and the mythology of African-Americans by the use of photo-projections and collage which established him as a major American artist.

Family by Romare Bearden. Collage created
in 1988 and used on a poster for the Census in
2000.
One of his posters in this show was completed for the Olympic Games in 1976 and another entitled "Family" was used by our Federal government in the huge census project completed in 2000. His later style adopted the intense colors of the Caribbean landscape where he and his wife maintained a home. A major exhibition of Bearden's work has been announced to be shown at our National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in September of 2002.

In addition to the scores of posters partially noted above, the Library exhibit includes a few original, signed graphics from the Library's permanent Special Collection of prints. Open to the public during regular Library hours without fees of any kind, the show which was organized by curator, William J. Dane, runs through the month of March, 2001 at the central Library building at 5 Washington Street. For specifics and questions, please call 973-733-7745.

 

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