We’re kicking off Proto-Pop with a look at an Object Poster classic: Peter Birkhauser’s Rheinbrucke.
The Swiss Object Poster Style sought to create unforgettable icons out of everyday objects through breathtaking graphics and printing. No one artist knew how to accomplish this better than Peter Birkhauser, who created more than 50 Object Poster masterpieces during the Thirties, Forties and early Fifties.
This elegant poster featuring a simple box is a perfect illustration of Birkhauser’s magic – the crisp folds of the wrapping paper, the trompe l’oeil effect of the green string, and the whimsical flip of the handle represent everything that the department store stands for.
Pop prince Andy Warhol captured a similar aesthetic in his famous Brillo Boxes sculpture, relying on the object to tell a powerful, if altogether contrasting, story. Both artists recognized the natural draw of the Object, and their works speak volumes on the pervasive consumer culture of their respective times.