Postwar Graphic Arts

Grapus movement
An offspring of the May ‘68 student revolt, Grapus design collective was founded in 1970 by Pierre
Bernard, Gerard Paris-Clavel and Francois Miehe. They were joined in 1974-5 by Jean-Paul Bachollet and
Alex Jordan; with Miehe’s departure in 1978, the main core was set. All members of the French
Communist Party (PCF), they concentrated their early efforts on the new society visions of the Left,
producing cultural and political posters for experimental theatre groups, progressive town councils, the
PCF itself, the CGT (Communist trade union), educational causes and social institutions.


Modern movement in America
The Modern Movement in America- America was introduced to modernism at the 1913 Armory Show,
but it was met by public protest and initially rejected. The same reaction awaited Jan Tschichold's
"elementare typographie". A small number of American typographers and designers, such as:
William Addison Dwiggins, S. A. Jacobs, Merle Armitage, and Lester Beall. They recognized the value of
the new ideas, and modernism slowly gained ground in book design, editorial design for fashion and
business magazines catering to affluent audiences, and promotional and corporate graphics. By the
1930s, modernist European design had become a significant influence in America. An important phase in
the development of American graphic design resulted from the migration of many European artist and
designers who fled the rise of Nazism in Europe. Alexey Brodovitch was one of those people who who
brought European modernism to American graphic design.


International style
The International style was born in western Europe in the 1920s from the precedent breaking work of
noted architects Le Corbusier in France, and Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe in Germany. Striving
to create a new modern form and functional theory of architecture, these architects abandoned
tradition to create a pared down, unornamented style that emphasized geometric shapes, viewing it as
architecture for the modern age. Utilizing new construction techniques and materials, buildings of the
International style were starkly different than those of previous eras in not just appearance. Flat roofed,
asymmetrical and with bands of windows set into a rectangular form, International style buildings were
a dramatic departure from past eras. Many European architects came to the United States in the period
preceding World War II, bringing their new ideas about modern design with them. In the 1930s
American architects began experimenting with the International style, building upon the early 20th
century American trends like the Commercial, Bungalow and Prairie styles, and the development of
skyscrapers.
Identifiable Features
1. Rectangular forms, often with round projections
2. Flat roof
3. Lack of ornamentation or decorative details
4. Ribbon windows
5. Curtain walls of glass
6. Cantilevered projections
7. Smooth wall surfaces
8. Asymmetrical facade

Op Art
Op art is a term used to refer to a style of nonobjective art in which optical effects of color relationships
and formal relationships are the primary subject matter. These works are characterized by intricate,
usually geometric patterns and carefully calibrated colors. Among the artists known for this style are
Bridget Riley and Vasareley. This very intellectual approach shows a relationship with the earlier de Stijl
ideas about the aesthetics and expressive power of pure form and color.



Pop Art
Pop art is an art form based in the power of popular images, derived from the commercial and mass
media sources that permeate modern American society. By elevating the banal to the status of Art, the
viewer is challenged to reconsider the nature of society and its values. Andy Warhol's soup cans, coke
bottles, and movie stars are the best known examples. Roy Lichtenstein uses comic book imagery and
style, creating bold images that are undeniably part of the American lexicon. Artists such as Claes
Oldenburg focus our attention on everyday objects by blowing them up to enormous size.


Action Painting
Action Painting emphasizes the process of making art, often through a variety of techniques which
include dripping, dabbing, smearing, and even flinging paint on to the surface of the canvas. These
energetic techniques depend on broad gestures directed by the artist's sense of control interacting with
chance or random occurrences. For this reason, Action Painting is also referred to as Gestural
Abstraction. The artists and the various techniques are associated with the movement Abstract
Expressionism and The New York School of the late 1940s, 1950s and 1960s (for example, Jackson
Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline). The term "action painting" was invented by the critic
Harold Rosenberg and appeared for the first time in his article "American Action Painters" (ArtNews,
December 1952). In France, action painting and Abstract Expressionism are called Tachisme (Tachism).



Urban Graffiti
Depending on how you define it, the history of graffiti can go as far back as the cavemen writing
petroglyphs in caves. The modern concept of graffiti, spray painting on public properties, broke onto the
scene in the late 1960s on the subway cars of New York City. The subculture of modern graffiti was born
out of the ‘style wars’ of the 1970s, The Golden Era. Artists wanted to out do each other with bigger and
better tags on the sides of buildings, expanding from the subway car, though the subway car was still a
major blank canvas. Spray paint cans replaced black markers and artists met to go over sketches to
approve or disapprove of others work. During this time the practice spread outside of New York City
across the country.

Graffiti influences mainstream graphic art in so many ways. From comic strips, to branding, to clothing
to magazines, to typography, it has had a major impact. One major reason for this is maybe the hip
factor and subculture that comes along with graffiti. Young people find graffiti visually pleasing and since
they are the clients for many products today graffiti has taken the front of the line when it comes to
graphic design. Many famous companies including Pepsi, Sony and Nike have used graffiti for their
marketing. It is hard to grab the attention of young people and since they find graffiti so influential and
'hip' it has become a part of graphic design on the whole.




Main artist of this era

Roy Lichtenstein
American artist Roy Lichtenstein was born in New York City on October 27, 1923, and grew up on
Manhattan's Upper West Side. In the 1960s, Lichtenstein became a leading figure of the new Pop Art
movement. Inspired by advertisements and comic strips, Lichtenstein's bright, graphic works parodied
American popular culture and the art world itself. He died in New York City on September 29, 1997.
Whaam! depicts a fighter aircraft in the left panel firing a rocket into an enemy plane in the right panel,
which disintegrates in a vivid red-and-yellow explosion. The cartoon style is emphasized by the use of
the onomatopoeic lettering "WHAAM!" in the right panel, and a yellow-boxed caption with black
lettering at the top of the left panel. The textual exclamation "WHAAM!" can be considered the graphic
equivalent of a sound effect. This was to become a characteristic of his work—like others of his
onomatopoeic paintings that contain exclamations such as Bratatat! and Varoom!


ANGUS MCBEAN
Although McBean’s photographic career started in the 1930's it was only after Work War II that he
became the most prominent theatre photographer in Great Britain. His light hearted portraits often
contained an element of surrealism. In the 1950's and 1960's he started to take photographs for album
covers, arguably the most famous being the Beatles leaning over a balcony.

Jackson Pollock
American painter, the commanding figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement.Pollock had created
his first "drip" painting in 1947, the product of a radical new approach to paint handling. With Autumn
Rhythm, made in October of 1950,In this nonrepresentational picture, thinned paint was applied to
unprimed, unstretched canvas that lay flat on the floor rather than propped on an easel. Poured,
dripped, dribbled, scumbled, flicked, and splattered, the pigment was applied in the most unorthodox
means. The artist also used sticks, trowels, knives, in short, anything but the traditional painter's
implements, to build up dense, lyrical compositions comprised of intricate skeins of line. There's no
central point of focus, no hierarchy of elements in this allover composition in which every bit of the
surface is equally significant. The artist worked with the canvas flat on the floor, constantly moving
around it while applying the paint and working from all four sides.


William Van Alen
Born August 10, 1883 – May 24, 1954 was an American architect, best known as the architect in charge
of designing New York City's Chrysler Building (1929–30).
In a skyline that has developed New York as a destination for architects and city lovers alike, the Chrysler
Building by William Van Alen is identifiable from any distance for its distinguishable style and profile
against its surroundings. With the initial intention to be the world’s tallest building, it remained so for
only eleven months until it was surpassed by the Empire State Building in 1931. The Chrysler Building is a
classic example of the Art Deco style, from the street to its terraced crown. Interior and exterior alike, it
is admired for its distinctive ornamentation based on features that were also found on Chrysler
automobiles at the time.


Jean-Michel Basquiat was born on December 22, 1960, in Brooklyn, New York. He first attracted
attention for his graffiti under the name "SAMO" in New York City. He sold sweatshirts and postcards
featuring his artwork on the streets before his painting career took off. He collaborated with Andy
Warhol in the mid-1980s, which resulted in a show of their work.