Spotlight on: Skiing / London Underground / Cycling / Stenberg Brothers
27th June 2013
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Skiing posters, like many advertising posters, were originally produced to entice holiday-makers and winter thrill-seekers to resorts and alpine areas. The early- to mid-century skiing posters were often designed by notable artists of the time and are colourful, dynamic, glamorous, nostalgic and stylish, sometimes also fun and quirky. The ones that survived now make for a good investment, ideal for decorating chalets and "back home" as a stunning reminder of a memorable ski trip. Christie's hosts an annual ski auction every January and has recently seen an increase in popularity and demand for these eye-catching, unique designs.
London Underground has a long history, since the early 20th century, of commissioning artists and designers to produce posters for display in Underground stations. In 1986, after a short lapse, London Underground began an active campaign of commissioning artists again with the aim of concentrating on fine art, rather than poster design. The essential difference was that artists were given a free hand without outside influence on the resulting work of art, unlike the commercial art route to advertising. The only specification was that all places had to be accessible by Underground. The resulting posters were never considered advertisements; rather, they were seen as good decoration for the stations, a passenger benefit and a way of continuing the Underground's long history of responsibility towards art and heritage.
Cycling is enjoyed by millions of people around the world, whether simply as a means of getting from A to Z or for keeping fit. Since its invention in the 1800s, the humble bicycle has been the subject of many cycling posters, from the promotion of safer cycling to advertising events such as the Tour de France. Riding a bike is undoubtedly a liberating and healthy sport that can be enjoyed by the whole family. For those looking to improve their mood and general lifestyle, it's also a good alternative to being stuck inside a train carriage during the rush hour commute to work.
Vladimir (1899-1982) and Georgii (1900-1933) Stenberg rank amongst the most notable Soviet Constructivist artists and graphic designers of the early 20th century. Pulling together their artistic experience and knowledge of film theory, the movie posters produced by the Stenberg Brothers during the 1920-30s displayed an innovative use of perspective, geometry, typography and colour to convey a dynamic sense of movement and energetic depth; their Battleship Potemkin poster is considered to be one of the greatest movie posters of all time.
Featured image: London Underground - View of the House, 1989