Antonio Boggeri (1900-1989), Italy's premier and greatest art
director, always called on his designers to produce "Le spectacle
dans la rue". He said it in French, deliberately quoting Cassandre,
the leading affichiste of the first half of the twentieth century.
In the late 1960s, Boggeri collected posters from all over the
world. One hundred fifty of these, mainly of a cultural nature,
lent substance to the historic exhibition staged by Renzo Zorzi and
Giorgio Soavi for Olivetti in 1968 in Milan. From this body of
work, Anna Boggeri and Bruno Monguzzi have selected and arranged
100 posters from ten countries (Czechoslovakia, France, Germany,
Japan, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, the US and
Switzerland) for the exhibition at Galleria Gottardo in Lugano. It
is important to remember that the point of Boggeris exhibition was
to contrast posters from different sources which, unlike the
decorative posters that proliferated in the 1960s, in the midst of
the liberty revival linked to pop and rock music in particular,
responded to a precise need: to carry a message in a well-defined
period of time. These posters, exhibited in Milan in 1968 and in
the Galleria Gottardo today, have become artefacts in the history
of visual communication. To give some idea of the variety of the
works and the artists who produced them, the following extract is
taken from the piece written by Antonio Boggeri himself for the
brochure of the original exhibition and republished in the
catalogue that accompanies todays show. "The oriental preciousness
of the Japanese, modern interpreters of ancient symbology, fruitive
of exquisite alphabets, is flanked by the variations on well-known
abstract motifs of the American group from Chicago, Milton Glasers
typical designs, and Lou LoMonacos dazzling black and white images;
the vibrant colours of refined and incisively original British
compositions; the modernity of the Dutch; the hugely inventive and
fascinating designs of famous Polish and Czech artists, who for
years have tirelessly continued the classic tradition while
remaining atuned to the distant currents in the stimulating themes
in theatre and exhibitions; the great, varied and unexpected
contribution of the Swiss group, and finally the dramatic and
expressive language, the mature artistry of the leading German
figures Edelmann, Kieser and Hillmann".
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