Poster artists from other countries

Here is a selection of some of the poster artists from countries outside Denmark whose work is represented at the Danish Poster Museum in Den Gamle By.

Xavier Bermúdez
Born 1953

The Mexican artist, Xavier Bermúdez, travelled to Milan and studied graphic design at the university, where he also studied screen printing techniques and music. Subsequently, in 1978, he became professor of graphic design at the university in Mexico City. In 1988 he began to organise the International Biennial of the Poster in Mexico, which was established in 1990. He has held guest lectures in several countries, and works today both as a designer and musician in addition to serving as the Administrative Director for the International Biennial of the Poster in Mexico. 

Michel Bouvet
Born 1955

The French designer and poster artist, Michel Bouvet, studied at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris, and today he lives and works in Paris. His studio primarily produces graphic design for public institutions such as theatres, museums and festivals, and also for publishing houses in France and abroad. Bouvet has taken part, either as a poster artist or as a member of the jury, in a number of major international poster biennales, and he has been awarded numerous prizes for his work. He is now a professor at the École Supérieure des Arts Graphiques in Paris.

24.1.1901 – 17.6.1968

Adolphe Jean-Mari Mouron – born to French parents in Kharkov in Ukraine, – worked under the pseudonym Cassandre. When he was quite young, Cassandre moved to Paris, and among other things studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Académie Julian. He was strongly influenced by the styles of Cubism and Surrealism, which were popular at the time. He was also inspired by the Bauhaus school. Early on, he was employed at the Hachard & Cie press, and was fascinated by the expression and possibilities of posters. His best known works include the Dubonnet posters (1932) and Normandie (1935). Cassandre typically focused all the force of his posters in a single essential point.

Jules Chéret
31.5.1836 - 23.9.1932

Artistically, the modern poster was born in France, where Jules Chéret started printing large, colourful posters at his own lithographic press in 1866. These posters advertised a whole series of amusements. They were striking and lively, often dominated by vigorous dancing female figures, portrayed in the Art Nouveau style that was typical of the period. Jules Chéret’s posters became a dominant source of inspiration for his countryman, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Stasys Eidrigevičius

Stasys Eidrigevičius was born in Lithuania, where he trained as a painter and graphic designer at the Vilnius Academy of Arts. He is active in several artistic genres, and has produced numerous oil paintings, book illustrations and dust covers. In 1984 he took up posters. In 1980 he moved permanently to Poland, where there was increasing interest in his graphic work. Since then he has held a number of exhibitions, both in Poland and in the rest of the world, for which he has received many prizes and awards. Stasys Eidrigevičius’ poster art characteristically focuses on a single object – often a face with a piercing look directed at the observer.      

Abram Games
29.7.1914 - 27.8.1996

From the mid-1930s, the British commercial graphic artist Abram Games became one of Britain’s most respected designers. During World War II he played an important part through his propaganda posters for the army. Games’ posters were expressive through simplification, and he stated that eliminating and cutting away to the bare bones of his message was a deliberate method in his work. His slogan was “Maximum meaning, minimum means”. Games worked on the principle that his posters were not selling products, but promoting an idea. Many of his motifs therefore move in a symbolic direction.

John Heartfield
19.6.1891 - 26.4.1968

The German photomontage artist, Helmut Herzfeld, changed his name to the English John Heartfield in 1916 in response to war activities during World War I. He joined the Communist Party in 1918, and campaigned fiercely against Nazism, especially through his many forceful and critical photomontages targeting Hitler and the Nazi regime. He had to flee the country in 1933, and was stripped of his German citizenship the following year. He did not return to Germany until 1950, when he went to live in Berlin.

Jörg Immendorff
14.06.1945 – 28.05.2007

Jörg Immendorff was a German artist who became known as one of the most outstanding German painters of his time. He trained at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf from 1963-66, and from the 1970s he made his name with a number of striking works. In these he returned to figurative and expressive historic motifs, and challenged abstract art and pop art. The critical social and political messages in his work were a sharp contrast to widely-held opinions about recent German history. Immendorff’s works were widely exhibited, several times in Denmark. The Danish Poster Museum showed a selection of his posters in 2006. Jörg Immendorff was appointed professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 1996.

Uwe Loesch

Uwe Loesch from Germany studied graphic design at the Peter-Behrens Akademie in Düsseldorf in 1964-1968, and set up his own studio in 1968. Beside his work in graphics, Loesch was appointed a professor at the University of Applied Sciences in Düsseldorf, and from 1990-2008 was appointed a professor at the university in Wuppertal. He has held more than thirty exhibitions abroad, showing his characteristic minimalist posters. Today, Uwe Loesch is considered to be a leader among international poster artists with works represented in all essential collections round the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Pekka Loiri

Pekka Loiri comes from Finland, and began his career as a graphic designer with a publishing house and advertising agencies. He set up his own studio in 1984. In addition to his graphic production, Pekka Loiri has made his mark as principal of the Finnish school of advertising design and through twenty years of teaching at the Finnish University of Arts and Design. He has also taught as a visiting professor at art academies in other parts of the world, and has taken part in numerous national and international exhibitions. He has additionally been on juries and assessed works at international exhibitions and competitions. Pekka Loiri has been awarded a number of prizes for his design, including the title of Graphic Designer of the year in Finland. He is considered one of the pioneers of Finnish poster art. 

Kari Piippo

Another prizewinning Finnish graphic artist is Kari Piippo, He specialised in illustrations and poster design from the early 1970s, and set up his own studio in 1987. He then taught graphic design at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki for a considerable period, and has held numerous exhibitions and workshops, both in Finland and in many countries abroad. Piippo’s poster designs are characterised by bold colours and simple graphic motifs, and they have won him a large number of international awards. Since 2004, Kari Piippo has been a visiting professor at the Tama Art University in Tokyo.     

Stefan Sagmeister

Austrian-born Stefan Sagmeister studied graphic design at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, and later at the Pratt Institute in New York. In 1993 he settled in New York and founded Sagmeister Inc. The studio produces graphic design work especially for the music industry, including the Rolling Stones. Besides his graphic design work, Stefan Sagmeister teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York. His works have been exhibited around the world, and he has received several design awards for his unorthodox and provocative work, including a Grammy in 2005. 

U.G. Sato
Born 1935

The Japanese poster artist, U.G. Sato, graduated from the Kuwasawa Design School in 1960, and in 1975 he established Design Farm. Over the years he has been extremely active in many fields, and has designed posters, children’s books, calendars and monuments. His design pivots on world peace and environmental problems, which he illuminates with imaginative humour and satire. In 1995 he organised a campaign against atomic energy, sending posters by fax in Paris and Tokyo to protest against French nuclear test explosions. He has been awarded prizes and distinctions over several decades for his poster art.  

Klaus Staeck

The German lawyer, Klaus Staeck, began making politically critical posters around 1960. He was born in Eastern Germany, but dissociated himself emphatically from the communist regime, and moved to West Germany in 1956. Staeck revitalised German political poster art, and his own posters are at the centre of controversy and heated discussions. His political opponents have repeatedly tried to have them removed, or even banned. In his posters he particularly defends the poor, the environment and the cause of peace. Staeck often works with other political artists: one of them was the colourful happening and performance artist, Joseph Beuys (1921-1986). Staeck also worked with Günter Grass (1927-2015) and the writer, Heinrich Böll (1917-1985). In 1970, Staeck received the Zille Prize for political graphic design, and in 2007 he was awarded the Grand Federal Service Cross (Grosses Bundesverdienstkreuz).

Waldemar Swierzy
1931 - 27.11.2013

The Polish artist, Waldemar Swierzy, graduated in 1952 from the graphical line at the Kracow Academy of Fine Arts. Later on, he taught at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts, and from 1979 to 1997 he was president of the international poster biennale in Warsaw. He has been awarded a large number of prizes for his posters. Swierzy’s works are colourful and often narrative, with a strongly humorous approach to life.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
24.11.1864 – 9.9.1901

The modern picture-based poster first became widespread in the 1890s, when the artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec enthusiastically adopted posters as his form of expression, strongly inspired by those of Chéret. Although his total production of lithographic posters does not exceed 28, their dynamic compositions and distinctive Art-Nouveau style set a fashion over many parts of Europe.

Danish posters, too, rode on a wave that had started in France. Posters by Toulouse-Lautrec were among the international art posters at an exhibition held in 1896 at the Museum of Decorative Art (now Designmuseum Danmark) in Copenhagen, focusing on the latest style in posters.

Henri de Toulouse Lautrec was a member of a French aristocratic family. The entire course of his life was affected by the fact that he accidentally broke both legs as a child. The broken bones did not grow together properly, and his legs stopped growing. Consequently, Toulouse Lautrec was physically disabled for life, and it also affected him mentally.