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Psychedelic posters in Europe

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The psychedelic revolution, born in San Francisco, soon spread to Europe at the end of the 1960’s.

Product of the hippie community, this counter-culture questioned American materialism and conservative norms, while defending important issues such as human rights, peace and feminism.

Matrix, Blues Project

1967 – Victor MOSCOSO

CHF 1350.–

Sold

This pacifist revolution manifested itself in different ways in a new style of communal living, impregnated with peace, eroticism, free love, music, drugs, and the exploration of new visual spaces.

This aesthetic research was reflected in the huge amount of psychedelic posters that were produced by the San Francisco music scene.

In 1967 psychedelia erupted on to the pop music scene in London, thanks largely to the Beatles. Remember “Sgt.Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Yellow Submarine”?
The new psychedelic style would strongly influence the world of music and fashion. A multitude of psychedelic record covers were created by graphic designers.

The creative energy also spread thanks to the growing popularity of the decorative poster.

In fact, it was at the end of the sixties that teenagers began to pin up posters of their favorite bands on their bedroom walls, as well as decorative posters inspired by psychedelia or fantasy.
It was through this new young market, in full post-war baby boom, that psychedelic culture would profoundly transform our ideas and culture.

However, even though this movement had a considerable influence on our society, it is striking to note that, outside of concert posters, there were surprisingly very few advertising posters made in the psychedelic style. Only a few graphic artists and advertisers were inspired by this counter-culture and its colorful aesthetics.

Revolutionary and disruptive, judged by many as scandalous, this movement was never really “recycled” by the world of advertising. It is certainly for this reason that there are such a small amount of examples on the market. That fact makes these posters all the more rare and interesting.
It is with pleasure that Galerie 1 2 3 presents its diligently assembled collection of over 40 years.
Our exhibition includes fifty or so original English, French, Swiss, and European posters. Whether created for concerts or designed for products, they are all inspired by Psychedelia.
Several iconographical pearls printed in the USA will accompany our exhibition.
All are original editions of that time and they still enable us dream of a world of peace and love.


Have a nice trip!
JD Clerc

» All psychedelic posters

Psychedelia

The Beatles, Second phase 1967

1968 – AMBROSE

CHF 1370.–

The world “Psychedelic” derives from the Greek words “psyche”, meaning the ‘soul’ and ‘delos’, meaning ‘manifesting’.

Hence, Psychedelic Art, inspired by the Indian “mandala”, illustrates the manifestations of the soul, and the modifications of consciousness and perception provoked by the hallucinogenic drug LSD.

Through its optical illusions and fluorescent colors, reminiscent of art Nouveau, with its deformed curvilinear typography, this new aesthetic plunges us into the world of hallucinations and fantasy.

THE BEATLES BY RICHARD AVEDON, 1967

Ringo Starr, Look Magazine

1967 – Richard AVEDON

CHF 530.–

John Lennon, Look Magazine

1967 – Richard AVEDON

CHF 970.–

George Harrison, Look Magazine

1967 – Richard AVEDON

CHF 770.–

Richard Avedon photographed and colorized, with the “colovir” process, the 4 Beatles portraits that were published in the ‘Look’ magazine in 1967. These photos were considered as decorative posters and spread around the world. The Beatle’s LP “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released the same year.
These two publications contributed to the diffusion of this new hippie culture which was not yet very popular in Europe but was quickly embraced by an entire generation of teenagers.

The three portraits of the Beatles constitute a remarkable example of several tendencies of the hippie movement and Psychedelic Art: Ringo Starr appears in non-complementary colors, with a dove of Peace.
George Harrison’s painted tattoos are inscribed with the mandala and evoke their mystical quest.
John Lennon is presented in bright red on an acid yellow background wearing kaleidoscopic glasses which are resonant with Kinetic and Optical Art; important sources of inspiration for Psychedelic Art.

PSYCHEDELIC ART IN ALL ITS COLORS

Love Festival, UFO and Love Machine

1967 – Michael ENGLISH

CHF 2430.–

Sold

In 1967, the English illustrator Michael English designed his famous poster for the Love Festival, incorporating psychedelic typography and fluorescent lips inspired by Man Ray.

This poster is considered a major work of psychedelic counter-culture and as the first European artwork of the Pop Art poster.


The bright colors of Psychedelic Art were used by some European artists for advertising posters.

Berliner Jazz Tage

1967 – Günther KIESER

CHF 810.–

Fête de la musique, Rive Droite et Rive Gauche

2013 – Jean-Marc HUMM

CHF 230.–

Sold

Lucia, by Humberto Solas

1970 – Andrzej KRAJEWSKI

CHF 970.–

Sinalco, Prix de l'affiche Suisse 1968

1968 – Ruedi KÜLLING

CHF 1270.–

McCoy Tyner Sextet, Willisau 3 april 20h Mohren

1980 – Niklaus TROXLER

CHF 1490.–

Sinalco

1971 – Willy RIESER

CHF 870.–

THE YELLOW SUBMARINE FANTASY

The Beatles, Yellow Submarine

1969 – ANONYME

CHF 3470.–

In 1969, the Beatles released the animated film “Yellow Submarine”. This illustration by Heinz Edelmann testifies to the joyful and phantasmagoric blend of Psychedelic Art imagery.

Bier, Bière, Birra

1970 circa – Elvira VOMSTEIN

CHF 370.–

Bier, Bière, Birra

1970 – Elvira VOMSTEIN

CHF 370.–

In 1970 Elvira Vomstein created several posters for the Swiss beer cartel evoking the joyful and childish spirit of the yellow submarine.

Leresche, confiseur à Vevey

1986 – Laurent COCCHI

CHF 220.–

Sold



This poster for “Lerescher confiseur in Vevey” is a good example of the inspired dream-like nature of the ‘Yellow Submarine’

MAKE LOVE NOT WAR

The hippies protested against the authorities and against the Vietnam war. This pacifist movement coined the phrase “Flower power”.

Dylan

1966 – Milton GLASER

CHF 650.–



Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and many other artists also expressed their mobilization against the war via their “protest songs”

The American graphic designer Milton Glaser created this poster of Bob Dylan in 1966 on the release of Dylan’s album “greatest hits”.
This iconic psychedelic illustration represents the profile of the singer’s face in dark silhouette contrasted with the rainbow colors of his hair.


UNDER THE RAINBOW

In reference to the Bible, and to the covenant offered by God to Noah, the rainbow is a symbol of peace. The rainbow's colors were also presented in the form of a flag. It was designed in 1923, by the international cooperative movement based in Basel, Switzerland, to promote the movement’s ideas of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality and world peace.

The rainbow flag became a standard for the pacifist struggle and a symbol for harmony in life and nature. It was used by the Hippy Movement with their love of fantastical color, by the Rainbow Family and later by the New Age Movement.


SWISSAIR

Swissair understands you best

1970 circa – ANONYME

CHF 1230.–

In a 1970’s poster for Swissair, the anonymous artist presents us with a sunrise, a starry sky and a rainbow a heart shape alluding to biblical visions and universality.

In the second poster of the series, an imaginary flight of birds in psychedelic colors suggests dreams of liberty.

Swissair understands you best

1970 circa – ANONYME

CHF 1130.–


SINALCO

The ultimate goal of the Hippie Movement was the promotion of a humanitarian ideology that focused on peace and love, personal freedom, harmony with nature and communal living.

This respect for the environment shown by the Hippie Movement would become, moreover, the origin of the modern ecologist movement.

Sinalco, einzigartig erfrischend und fruchtig

1973 – Heiri SCHMID

CHF 390.–


In 1973, Sinalco printed two posters that illustrate this libertarian atmosphere.

The figures in these posters wear flower t-shirts and bell jeans and are having a party in a relaxed mood, illustrating exuberant and fanciful nature in psychedelic colors.

Sinalco, Spiel mit!

1970 circa – Heiri SCHMID

CHF 350.–

These posters in the Swiss format were displayed in the streets but were also available as decorative posters offered by the company in exchange for 12 Sinalco coupons collected on bottles.

HIPPIE FASHION POSTERS

Pharmacie Principale, Costume de Bain

1975 circa – (photographe) RYSER

CHF 330.–

The above posters constitute an example of the influence of “Flower power” on clothing and fashion as can be seen from the flowery bathing suit for the “Pharmacie Principale”, and the magnificent bathing suit of rainbow colors for the pin up “Hamol”.

It is remarkable that the psychedelic imagery is expressed via the design of the bathing suits. The fashion sector welcomed such fantasy.

Hamol Ultra protège, brunit, soigne

1963 – Edgar KUNG

CHF 930.–

BLOOMING TOURISM

The tourist poster was also inspired by the liberating and hedonistic spirit of the Hippie Movement and flower power, as in the two posters by Steve Carpenter for Anzère and Monte-Carlo.

Zurich, Switzerland

1978 – Angelica GRAZIOLI

CHF 490.–

Sold

Anzère, Valais, Suisse

1970 circa – Steve Carpenter

CHF 1370.–

Monte Carlo

1970 circa – Steve Carpenter

CHF 730.–

ART NOUVEAU IN PSYCHEDELIA

The Echo, Chicago's new paper

1895 – Will H. BRADLEY

CHF 1230.–

Sold

Many psychedelic artists were inspired by Art Nouveau, a movement created at the end of the 19th century, inspired by nature.

This art embraced ornamental stylizations dominated by curves and floral patterns. Beautiful women with long curly hair are often presented in luxurious nature.

San Francisco, The Wildflower at the Matrix, 1st edition

1967 – Victor MOSCOSO

CHF 830.–

Sold

Many posters of the San Francisco music scene included Art Nouveau elements in their posters.



The visual richness of Art Nouveau inspired European and American artists and would also be re-used by Psychedelic Art.
Curly hair and floral fantasy would be converted to represent the effects of drugs and their hallucinations. The gold and pastel colors of Art Nouveau became bright and even fluorescent.

Psychedelic ladies

1970 – Gunilla RUDLING

CHF 630.–

Sold

Flower Love

1967 – Constance E. KEELAN

CHF 950.–

Sold

Blues

1968 – ANONYME

CHF 650.–

Sold


In the 70’s, a few European graphic designers would be inspired by Art Nouveau.

Bell Époque

1969 – Donald BRUN

CHF 430.–

Miss Mr. Bouldoires, Boutiques Bienne

1971 – Annamarie GODAT

CHF 730.–

Vallorbe, Festival d'expression libre

1975 – ANONYME

CHF 370.–


En wagons-lits avec un billet de 2e classe

1970 – G. BENARD

CHF 790.–

A poster for SNCF directly inspired by Art Nouveau and its typography.


A unique example of the use of Psychedelic Art by the automobile industry, for the R4 and the R16.
The artist used the style to give these small models the feeling of pleasure and freedom.

Renault 12 Gordini

1970 circa – ENSEMBLE 5 STUDIO

CHF 770.–

Renault 16

1970 circa – ENSEMBLE 5 STUDIO

CHF 830.–

Renault

1970 circa – ENSEMBLE 5 STUDIO

CHF 830.–

Sold

TYPOGRAPHIC HALLUCINATION

Matrix, Junior Wells and his Chicago Blues Band

1966 – Victor MOSCOSO

CHF 870.–

Art Nouveau typography is also present in psychedelic posters. The distortion of the type inspired by Art Nouveau is also associated with the visual deformations caused by hallucinogenic drugs.

These distortions were pushed to the extreme, on some of the San Francisco examples. The texts are almost invisible and require concentration, a visual change, or blinking of the eyes to render the text readable.


In Europe, this tendency towards the hallucinatory was certainly less extreme, but it is nevertheless present in some advertising posters.

Tube Jazz Club

1970 circa – VALLIER

CHF 130.–

The two posters for the “Tube Jazz Club” in Geneva, portray, in electric colors, fantastical imagery and deformed typography.

Tube Jazz Club

1970 circa – VALLIER

CHF 130.–

Stop Impots Vigilance

1990 circa – ANONYME

In this surprising poster against taxes, made for “Vigilance” a Swiss conservative party, the graphic artist used psychedelic typography together with Pop Art colors.

LSD & Co

OPTICAL ILLUSIONS IN PSYCHEDELIC POSTER

With this same goal of reproducing hallucinations in graphic terms, Psychedelic Art was directly inspired by Kinetic Art at the end of the 1950’s, and by Op Art or Optical Art at the beginning of the 60’s.

Constructed out of the effects of optical illusions, this Art played with visual deformations, spirals and a special play of volumes in perspective.

Jefferson Airplane, Charlie Musselwhite, The Ceyleib People, Clear Light

1968 – Thomas EDISON

Sold

A great poster for the American band ‘Jefferson Airplane’, an example of the integration of American Indian culture by the Hippie Movement.

On this poster, the artist made the deliberate decision to make the reading of the information difficult by ‘pixelizing’ the text in a squared frame.

The effect is visually similar to a traditional Indian carpet.

Seen up close, this poster is unreadable and it is only when seen from a certain distance and concentrating on different colors and perspectives that the text suddenly jumps out: ‘Clear light, pinnacle Shrine Exp.Hall, dance Concert Feb 23-24’.

Only the initiated of Psychedelic Art were invited to this concert.


Transformations and reversals of perspectives, as many other optical effects from the sixties were incorporated by European graphic designers.

Das Labyrinthe, Buchhandlung Galerie Basel

1987 – Jean-Benoît LEVY

CHF 210.–

Blau Gelb Rot

1991 – Hans KNUCHEL

CHF 230.–

Mantel, Hochkariert

1990 – Remy FABRIKANT

CHF 390.–

Berliner Jazz Tage 1965

1965 – Günther KIESER

CHF 750.–

Kunstmarkt, Innerschweizer Künstler in der Schmiedgasse Stans

1990 – Melchior IMBODEN

CHF 330.–

Black and White, Old Scotch Whisky

1970 circa – ANONYME

CHF 530.–

Sold

FANTASTIC ART AND TRIP ART

The Cloud, the Plastic Explosion, Rites of Spring

1967 – Victor MOSCOSO

CHF 670.–

To illustrate “trips” brought on by hallucinogenic drugs, Psychedelia reused Surrealism and the fantastical imaginary world.

Monsters and skulls co-existed in a symbolically erotic drama.

helmaus zürich, Phantastische Figuration

1969 – Walter DIETHELM

CHF 330.–

Helmaus, Zürich optisch

1970 – Balz BAECHI

CHF 650.–

Sop with Camel at the Matrix

1967 – Victor MOSCOSO

CHF 630.–


A fantastic universe which would be reused by European comic artists, such as Philippe Druillet.

Philippe Druillet, sans titre

1978 circa – Philippe DRUILLET

CHF 120.–

La Vampire Nue, un film de Jean Rollin

1973 – Philippe DRUILLET

CHF 1680.–

Exposition Philippe Druillet, Paris, les voyages de Lone Sloane

1974 – Philippe DRUILLET

CHF 730.–


THE LORD OF THE RINGS

Frodo

1967 – Flora BARUCH

CHF 260.–

Two posters, printed by Berkeley Bonaparte in 1967, representing Frodo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, both heroes of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, the epic “heroic fantasy” which was adopted as “the” bedside book by the Hippie Movement.

Gandalf the Grey, (Then you will see the Grey Uncloaked)

1967 – Doug MARKKANEN

CHF 360.–



TRIP ART

Euphoric Phase

1969 – Ivan PASLAVSKY

CHF 630.–

Examples of “Trip Art” posters that were pinned up by 70’s teenagers.

Fire Dragon

1972 – ANONYME

Sold

PSYCHEDELIC MYSTICISM

THE POSTER ERA

Peace & love boat

1970 circa – ANONYME

CHF 490.–

The eruption of hippie, pop, and folk culture meant that posters of teenager’s favorite bands were easily available and even included in the music magazines of the time, such as “Rock and Folk” “The Rolling Stone” and “Salut les Copains”.
Both music posters and decorative posters were simply pinned to most teenager’s bedroom walls.

The Burden of Life is Love

1970 circa – ANONYME

CHF 950.–


For the first time, mass production posters were printed specifically to be hung in the home.
It was the advent of the poster industry, which soon became worldwide and the beginning of home poster decoration.

From the Land of Steppord comes the Queens of the Stone Age

1999 – Ron DONOVAN, Chuck SPERRY

CHF 350.–

African Queen

1974 – ANONYME

Sold

Soul-Girl

1970 circa – Hans GOERSCH

CHF 570.–

Sold

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