Art Deco: Cassandre
I was excited to hear that this week we would be learning about art deco, because I thought it would be a fun time period to learn about. I really associate art deco with the Great Gatsby, as do most people my age I think, because we all had to read the book in high school. It was my favorite book that I ever had to read during high school.
I decided to pick one art deco artist to do my blog post about this week, and I chose Cassandre because he is the artist that created this poster that we saw in class, and it was the one piece of art that stood out to me the most:
Cassandre’s real name was Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron. He was born in 1901 in Ukraine, but his parents were French so he moved to Paris in 1915. He studied at the Ecole de Beaux-Arts and then started his own studio in 1922 and started signing his paintings with he name Cassandre. He took inspiration from surrealism and cubism, and artists like Picasso. His first very famous poster was created in 1923 for a cabinet maker’s company and was called Au Bucheron
I personally love this poster. I think that even today it can be considered modern. It is very bold and dynamic, and has so much movement that it seems to be exploding off of the page or screen. The use of lines to create movement is something that Cassandre did extremely well, and it shows in this painting. Also the use of color and the very stark contrast between the black and orange makes the image come to life, even though Cassandre’s work is very stylized. This poster won first place at the Exhibition in Paris in 1925 and was the start of Cassandre’s fame and success.
He created many posters for the Nord Express and for Dubonnet, and he came up with the idea of making a series of posters so people could view them from a moving train car. His work is really the perfect model of art deco, because he found a way to connect fine art with commercial art. He also designed a few fonts, some of which we still see today. He also taught art courses. During the end of his career, he spent most of his time painting and building sets for theatre. At the end of his life, he suffered from depression and committed suicide in 1968. However, Cassandre was, I think, one of the founders of art deco, and someone who exemplifies it to this day. His work will forever be seen as bold, dynamic, intense, and ahead of his time. He is still one of the most recognizable art deco artists.