I visited the Fine Art Musuem in Boston a few weeks ago and was lucky enough to see two exhibits that were truly inspiring. On display were 50 WWI wartime posters from the United States and Europe—including select examples from Britain, France, Germany, and Russia and an incredible solo show featuring the work of Jamie Wyeth. Oh, and the Magna Carta was there too, no big deal.
I’ve always loved screen-printed posters for their use of color, negative space, hand letting and quirky language. It was really interesting to see how each nation approached wartime and how the designers thought best to encourage citizens to enlist or support the war. France went with a subtle palette and messages that pulled at the heartstrings while the U.S. charged forward with bold colors and brazen imagery. I’m personally a fan of the Victory Garden poster for its message; a message I see very relevant for today as well.
The earlier work by Jamie I found more appealing for its bold expression, off cropping and sentiment. His later works had an eerie and macabre undertone that I was intrigued, but visual uninspired by. Learning about his relationships with Andy Warhol and wife, Phyllis through his art was really beautiful. I love the painting of Phyllis walking with her crutches, catching snowflakes on her tongue.