A hidden gag, a French turn of phrase, vibrant colour and quirky characters ... the playful posters for the French Loterie Nationale are amongst our favourites here at The Galerie. As an entire body of work, these designs reflect the best French poster artists and graphic works of an era.
The French Loterie Nationale was established in 1933, under a government initiative to provide funds to war invalids and veterans. The first draw was held on November 7 at the Trocadero in Paris, a grand event that attracted thousands of people. The jackpot, a huge sum of 5 million francs, was won by a hairdresser in from small town. Draws were held monthly until 1943, then weekly, with just brief interruptions in 1940 and 44 due to the war. In 1976 the name and administration was taken over by the Lotto.
A new poster was commissioned for every individual Loterie draw, a total of 10 large format posters and 40 smaller 40 x 60 cm 'affichettes' per year. Looking at the posters today, there's an extraordinary amount of work put into a poster with a life of just 7 days! Whilst each features a general theme of 'luck' and 'chance', the many artists commissioned by the company were given great flexibility in style, colour and expression.
We're excited to announce The Galerie is headed north for a brief yet brilliant pop-up exhibition - BONJOUR SUMMER. For three days a truly rare collection of posters by the artistic duo Lefor - Openo will be on show in Sydney, available to view and purchase. Perfectly playful and a little bit festive, this collection is the ideal way to welcome the sunny season.
Young, female and unmistakably French, Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau applied an effortlessly chic, vibrant and unique approach to advertising for just 12 short years. Full of charm, wit and flair, their posters for film, tobacco, travel and fashion capture the joie de vivre of the post-war era. Brilliant in colour and composition, each commission achieved renown and success. Over half a century later their posters are today exceedingly rare, and amongst the most strongly collected and admired worldwide.
This exhibition has been a labour of love for The Galerie, a slow accumulation of pieces we knew deserved to be saved and seen together as a comprehensive collection. Michelle's meetings with Ms Oppeneau in Paris only reinforced our fascination. The sprightly eighty year old is one of few remaining from the golden age of French advertising, and we are so pleased to present this exhibition with her blessing.
Calling all Villemot fans!
A Villemot Catalogue Raisonné is now in print. This is the very first complete written inventory of the artist's work, and it’s in English! With 320 impressive pages of informative essays and over 500 colour plates, this is one not to be missed. We are taking pre-orders now, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org today to reserve your copy.