May 10, 2012 - Sale 2278

Sale 2278 - Lot 25

Price Realized: $ 12,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 10,000 - $ 15,000
21 1/4x26 1/2 inches, 54x67 1/2 cm.
Condition A: minor abrasions at edges. Paper.
Brodovitch was a key figure in the development of 20th century graphic design. Born in Russia, he emigrated to Paris where he first distinguished himself as a graphic designer, working for a host of prestigious clients such as Aux Trois Quartiers, Arts et Metiers Graphiques, Cahiers d'Art and the restaurant Prunier. His designs won him 5 awards at the 1925 Art Deco exhibition. In the early 1930s he moved to New York, where he eventually became the art director for Harper's Bazaar. In that position he hired A. M. Cassandre (as well as other top European designers like Man Ray and Herbert Bayer) to design covers for the magazine. He was also responsible for nurturing and developing young American talents such as Richard Avedon. This extremely rare poster is Brodovitch's first published work, the result of winning a poster design competition to advertise a ball for Russian émigrés in Paris. The image is reflective of the Parisian art movements of the period, swinging between Cubism and the newborn Surrealism. Andy Grundberg cleverly analyzes it as "suggestive of both the influences on him and of his own future directions. The graphics, light to dark inversion of its mask shape, type and background not only suggest the positive negative process of photography but also symbolically represents the process of masking; one trades one's identity for another, contrary one" (Brodovitch p. 24).