May 10, 2012 - Sale 2278

Sale 2278 - Lot 44

Estimate: $ 3,000 - $ 4,000
61x45 inches, 155x114 1/4 cm. H. Chachoin, Paris.
Condition B+ / B: creases, abrasions and restoration along vertical and horizontal folds and in image; repaired tears and recreated losses at edges.
In 1932 Carlu founded the Office de Propagande pour la Paix, a non-profit agency dedicated to preserving peace in Europe. This was the first poster he produced for this organization (from a photograph taken by Andre Vigneau), and it remained one of the best. As Carlu stated himself in interviews, he created the image using the basic structures of cubism: the sphere, the triangle and the square. The sharp triangle represents the path of the falling bombs (a shape echoed in the photograph of the child), and the sphere is the world threatened by war. To add to the drama, Carlu uses photography. He was in fact one of the first to use and to fight for the use of photographs in posters. Originally this image was intended to be shown at the U.A.M. (Union des Artistes Modernes) exhibition held on February 4, 1932, at the Decorative Arts Museum in Paris. However, the president of the museum, who was already shocked by the photographic work of The Stenberg Brothers and El Lissitzky (who had been invited to participate in the show), decided to censor Carlu's poster, and he withdrew it from the show. The resulting scandal was so tumultuous that the director re-inserted the poster into the show only two days later. A final historical note: the woman in the photomontage was Ernest Hemmingway's first wife. Weill 352, Plakat Kunst p. 193.