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Bibliothèque Nationale de France - Richelieu
Adolphe Mouton Cassandre

BNF, 58, rue de Richelieu, Paris, IIIème. Until 4 décember 2005.

The most famous poster artist of the Art Déco, Adolphe Mouron Cassandre, is the star of a pretty retrospective to the National Library of France, Richelieu site.  Designer completely representative of its time, Cassandre became the Master of the graphic illustration following a contest of posters organized by the Michelin tires.  Influenced by the Bauhaus and the cubism, it works out a new figurative style, fluid, structured, symbolized, while keeping an essential realism to preserve the advertisement.  Two famous posters such as North Express train and Etoile du Nord, show perfectly this industrial stylization as well as the impression of speed and power of the railroads.  One finds there the metal cylinders of Fernand Leger and the futuristic, depicting the impression speed.  Beyond the prestigious prow of the Normandy steamer, one of the illustrations most present in the French collective memory remains nevertheless the poster created for the Dubonnet aperitif which lived inside the Parisian subway for a long time. The power of this poster is related to the typography invented by Cassandre, which is integrated perfectly in the graphic construction industry.  Here the true talent of the painter resides, to have known to create original alphabets then to skillfully combine them with the aesthetic environment.  Cassandre will create the well known logo YSL of Yves-Saint-Laurent as well as the character most representative of the modernism Art Déco, Bifur.

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