Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Artists of Les Arcs (2)

A typical Loupot design for Sato Egyptian cigarettes.

Continuing the art theme from last post, we move to a slightly younger artist - responsible for many of the wonderful Art Deco posters that abounded in the post World War One period in France.

Charles Loupot.

His name is Charles Loupot (1892-1962) and while he wasn't born in Les Arcs, his parents moved here in 1923 and he visited the town regularly after that.

He moved here permanently during World War Two and remained based in Les Arcs for almost 20 years until his death in 1962.

Born in Nice in 1892, he studied art at the Ecole de Beaux Arts at Lyon.

One of his early posters designed when he lived in Switzerland.
His career was interrupted by his enlistment for World War One, but after being wounded he was invalided out and spent the remainder of the war with his parents, who had moved to Switzerland.

While there, he was strongly influenced by the graphic designer, Cappiello, and created his first poster - for Raga 'the finest oriental cigarette' in 1919.

The poster showed two cigarettes resting in an ashtray, one with smoke floating up vertically and the other with smoke spiralling around it.

I love the simplicity of so many of his designs - just a few deft touches of his pen and his posters say it all. In fact I am a huge fan of Art Deco everything!

In 1923, Charles Loupot returned to Paris where he designed many illustrations for well-known magazines

His posters for Voisin cars are among the highlights of his career and in the 1930s, he started work for St Raphael - his best known designs show two waiters who symbolise the St Raphael label.

Posters for Voisin and St Raphael.
He was one of the few advertising designers whose name appeared on his posters.
The Les Arcs logo for his advertising agency in Paris.

In 1937 he was awarded the Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur for his work.

Although he had been visiting Les Arcs regularly since his parents bought a house in Les Arcs when they moved back to France after the war, he didn't move permanently to the town until the 1940s.

It's not surprising that he loved Les Arcs, and he ended up creating his own advertising agency in Paris which he called 'Les Arcs', creating a logo of stylised bows and arrows.

Among his many famous clients he designed posters and advertising material for Valentine, T-Twining, the galleries de Barbes and Van Heusen.

Charles Loupot died in Les Arcs in 1962, aged 70, but his posters live on in tribute to his creativity.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Artists of Les Arcs (1)

From the beginning of May until the end of August, there is an unusual art exhibition in Les Arcs-sur-Argens.
Exhibition in Boulevard Gambetta, Les Arcs-sur-Argens.

It is not in a gallery, but in the street and made up of a series of large canvas posters showing the lives and works of two of Les Arcs' most famous artists.

In this post I will feature the first - a nationally famous watercolourist of the late 19th and early 20th centuries - called Madeleine Lemaire (1845-1928).
Madeleine Lemaire.

Born in Les Arcs, she moved to Paris at the age of 12.

Her talent for painting must have been well evident already, as her first exhibition was held in 1864, when she was just 19 years old.

Her work is extraordinarily accomplished, and though I am not particularly a fan of her style of painting, I can appreciate the mastery of her design and knowledge of colour.

She was a member of the French Society of Watercolourists but also a good oil painter, compatible with the finest academic painters of her time.

Her paintings of flowers and fruit are among some of the best examples of late 19th century art and she was also accomplished at portraits and figure painting.

The second half of the 19th century was an extraordinary period throughout the world for art and is renowned for the great paintings produced during that time.

In 1886 she created a 'salon' at her studio where artists, writers, politicians, musicians and actors were welcomed.
In fact it became one of the most brilliant and best frequented salons of the Belle Epoque, located in the Faubourg St Germain.

As well as frequent exhibitions in Paris, Madeleine's work was also represented at the Venice Biennale of 1898 and exhibited in London in 1903.

She became Professor of Design at the Museum of Natural History in 1899 and in 1906 was presented with the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.

While she maintained her studio in Paris, she also lived at her home, the Chateau de Reveillon in the Marne, not far from Paris.
It was in there that she died in 1928.

Interestingly the exhibition here does not say whether she ever returned to Les Arcs, however if she did, I'm sure they would have mentioned it. None-the-less, the town is very proud of her.