rediscover the painters behind the posters

Thu 5 Oct to Sat 4 Nov 2017

Thursday 5 October, 6.30pm-8pm

Complimentary drinks and nibbles on arrival 

Alliance Francaise Eildon Gallery

51 Grey St, ST KILDA


Owner of the Letitia Morris Gallery
Wednesday 18 October, 6.30pm-8pm

As a seasoned art collector, Brett will discuss his impressions of the art market, the buying of art and specifically posters, as well as the key role played by curiosity and knowledge. Brett will also offer an overview of poster design and production throughout the 20th century in France.

Alliance Francaise Eildon Gallery
51 Grey St, ST KILDA


The Alliance Française de Melbourne is proud to welcome the Letitia Morris Gallery for a very special exhibition of famous French icons.The show will display original first prints of key French graphic designers of the XXth century with the aim to rediscover the talented painters behind the posters. 

More than posters, Affiches’ exhibited artworks are artefacts of the golden age of French art and design. Many appear today as vibrant as they would have on the walls of the Parisian metro at a time when the lithograph was a recent innovation and print was the king of communication.

Technically and artistically beautiful, artists partnered with major brands to fund their pursuits but fought to overcome the commercial necessities that inhibited aesthetics. As a result, the posters communicate primarily through visuals and mood, and have been said to be the foundation of modern concepts of ‘branding’.

The Letitia Morris Gallery at 1158 High Street, Armadale has been importing original advertising posters to Australia since 1992 and introduced Melbournians to the works of iconic French artists such as Bernard Villemot, Rene Gruau, Raymond Savignac and Herve Morvan.

Selecting from one of the top ten collections of vintage posters worldwide, Affiches will present posters from The Letitia Morris Gallery as well as rare pieces from the gallery owner Brett Ross’ extensive personal collection.

“… our stock of over a thousand posters is amongst the ten
best held by commercial galleries worldwide.”
  – Gallery owner, Brett Ross.

Letitia Morris Gallery, owned by art dealer Brett Ross, has been specialising in Original Vintage Posters since 1993.

As the first to bring original Bally posters by Villemot to Melbourne, Brett has continued to source original vintage posters for over 23 years, predominantly from Paris and outlying French regions.

Today, the Gallery holds an extensive range of vintage posters that reflect the graphic diversity and ingenuity of 20th Century graphic designs, such as those by Bonnard, Cassandre, Gruau and Savignac.

The majority of the posters have been laid down on linen and “canson” paper backing for conservation purposes, ensuring stability and an enhanced presentation.

Bernard VillemoT, elegant & primitive.

Bernard Villemot, is described by Thierry Devynck as the ” le plus peintre”, the most painterly poster designer of the post WW2 period . Driven by his own personal style, he fought to overcome the commercial necessities that tend to give aesthetic expression a secondary role in advertising. Coming from a well-heeled upper class background Villemot saw himself foremost as a painter, inspired by the work of Henri Matisse and on a different level Georges Mathieu. The period was one where Abstraction amongst painters was fashionable; Villemot’s work tends towards this sophistication rather than the Art Brut. In the sixties Villemot was at the height of his career, the advertisers left him “open shop” to create the themes of advertising campaigns. His Original work is built around just a zest of an orange peel. His Perrier beach scene of an embracing couple is a far cry from bottles filled with water. The Bally Abstract poster, with 2 shoes male / female “sole to soul” is so abstract the shoes are hardly recognizable. The industrial leaders of the Orangina, Perrier and Bally were gentleman of good taste rather than technocrats, they met Villemot socially on an equal footing and gave him this license to produce ” painterly works of art” where beauty and elegance overrode purely commercial criteria.

Raymond SavignaC, la joie de vivre !

Raymond Savignac, who has died aged 94, was the last of the great Parisian poster artists. For several decades, their works lit up the métro, and those by Savignac were the most entertainingly unmissable. He claimed that his career began in 1949 with the poster, Monsavon Au Lait. “I simply thought of a cake of soap for Monsavon, and a cow for the milk,” he said. With a comic picture of a cow, its udders emptying themselves into a bar of soap, he made a visual scandal – and he went on making them well into his 90s.

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Thanks for sharing! / Merci pour le partage!


St Kilda branch:
51 Grey Street, ST KILDA
Tel : 03 9525 3463
Fax : 03 9525 5064

Postal Address:
PO Box 2042,

St Kilda branch opening hours:
Mon - Fri: 9am to 7pm (switchboard/reception: 9.30am to 6.30pm)
Sat: 9am to 6pm (switchboard/reception: 9am to 5.30pm).

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