AM.Cassandre – Ukranian born French artist
The Art Producer of the streets
AM.Cassandre (Adolphe Mouron B- 1901 D-1968)
Poster and theatre designer, lithographer, painter and creator of typefaces, Cassandre, is one of the greatest commercial artists of this century. He reconciled the ideas of such contemporary avant-garde movements as Cubism, Surrealism and Neue Sachlichkeit, with the demands of commercial art.
Cassandre studied at the Academie Julian in Paris.
1923 : Designed his first poster.
1925 : Won first prize for posters, Paris Exposition.
1926 : Founded the Alliance Graphique with Maurice Moyrand.
1936 : Exhibition at Museum of Modern Art, New York.
1936 - 1939: Worked in the U.S., and designed covers for Harper's.
1939 : Returned to France and almost completely abandoned posters in Favor of advertising, theatrical design and painting.
Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron Cassandre was born in Kharkov, Ukraine, to French parents. As a young man, Cassandre moved to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian. The popularity of posters as advertising afforded him an opportunity to work for a Parisian printing house. Inspired by cubism as well as surrealism, he earned a reputation with works such as Bûcheron (Woodcutter), a poster created for a cabinetmaker that won first prize at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes.
Cassandre became successful enough that with the help of partners he was able to set up his own advertising agency called Alliance Graphique, serving a wide variety of clients during the 1930s. He is perhaps best known for his posters advertising travel, for clients such as the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits.
His creations for the Dubonnet wine company were among the first posters designed in a manner that allowed them to be seen by occupants in moving vehicles. His posters are memorable for their innovative graphic solutions and their frequent denotations to painters as Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso. In addition, he taught graphic design at the École des Arts Décoratifs and then at the École d'Art Graphique.
With typography an important part of poster design, the company created several new typeface styles. Cassandre developed Bifur in 1929, the sans serif Acier Noir in 1935, and in 1937 an all-purpose font called Peignot. In 1936, his works were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City which led to commissions from Harper's Bazaar to do cover designs.
With the onset of World War II, Cassandre served in the French army until the fall of France. His business long gone, he survived by creating stage sets and costumes for the theatre, something he had dabbled in during the 1930s. After the war, he continued this line of work while also returning to easel painting. In 1963, he designed the well-known Yves Saint Laurent logo.
In his later years, Cassandre suffered from bouts of depression prior to his suicide in Paris in 1968.