Art Deco: Commercializing the Avant-Garde

September 28, 2023–February 25, 2024

The term “Art Deco” did not exist until the 1960s. Prior to that, the geometric, bold, machine-focused style now collectively packaged within that genre was known by many names, representing a variety of regional versions of Modernism. This exhibition chronicles the rise and fall of what would come to be known as Art Deco, starting with the 1925 Paris Exhibition where various factions of the European avant-garde were distilled through commercial endeavors to become the visual language of capitalism, and ending as Deco graphics became more nationalistic in the lead up to World War II.

This exhibition features over 50 posters by enduring masters of graphic design, including A.M. Cassandre, Charles Loupot, Marcello Nizzoli, Jean Dupas, Herbert Matter, Jean Carlu, Paul Colin, René Vincent, Edward McKnight Kauffer, Austin Cooper, Pierre Fix-Masseau, and Joseph Binder.

This exhibition comes to Poster House through a generous loan from William W. Crouse. 


Selected Images

Poster of a faceless man wearing gloves, putting on glasses.
Leroy, 1938
Paul Colin
Lithographic poster of a minimal female face smoking a cigarette.
Sato Cigarettes, 1933
Designer Unknown
Lithographic poster of a silhouette of a man smashing a hammer against an anvil with sparks flying.
Giornata del Prodotto Italiano, 1930
Giuseppe Riccobaldi del Bava
Lithographic poster of three train silhouettes stacked together in pastel colors.
Osaka Railways, c. 1935
Toyonosuke Kurozumi
Lithographic poster of a geometric man in a top hat smoking a cigarette.
Modiano, 1929
Róbert Berény
Poster of a fat and thin waiter, one red the other white.
St. Raphaël, 1938
Charles Loupot
Lithographic poster of a fancy couple looking through a showroom window at a luxury car.
Donnet, 1928
Alexey Brodovitch
Poster of a screaming face surrounded by telephone wires.
L’Intransigeant, 1925
A. M. Cassandre