by Liberty Finch
Who doesn't love a music poster? From adolescent bedrooms to college dorms, we pay homage to our favorite musicians and most memorable shows by adorning our walls with art that jogs happy memories and triggers carefree times.
The legendary Fillmore Theater in San Francisco has an entire collection dedicated to the evolution of poster art.
From its dance hall days in the 1930s to the Beat movement of the ‘50s
and ‘60s, the Fillmore hosted some of best shows in musical history. Today
the posters that advertised those shows are collectibles—high-ticket items
on ebay and crowd pleasers in galleries across the country.
Troxler is a contemporary Swiss graphic designer whose work is currently on
display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Hot & Cool: The Jazz Posters
of Niklaus Troxler features 25 posters of artists, including Thelonious
Monk, McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, Arthur Blythe and the Sam Rivers Quartet. Troxler’s
work conveys the improvised spirit of jazz with a crisp and bold graphic style.
In 1966 Troxler and his brother initiated an annual jazz festival in Willisau,
Switzerland. The extensive body of work he produced to advertise festival participants
has gained him notoriety worldwide. And while Troxler may borrow artistic elements
from greats like Kandinsky, Magritte, Matisse and Miro, his work is also defined
by pictorial simplicity, bold color and rational order. Witty and playful, Troxler
has a signature style that hovers between figurative and abstract.
“The secret is to concentrate, and to rely on my curiosity,” he
says, “to let myself be carried away by the improvisation, trusting that
my taste, or sensibilities, won’t allow banalities.”
Hot & Cool runs through Feb. 6, but Troxler himself will speak about
his work in a lecture at the Institute on Jan. 20. The event runs from 6 to
7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
By the by, another music poster show is on the horizon.
Plaster the Town II: Twin Cities Gigposter Exhibition opens at the Back
Alley Gallery in St. Paul on Jan. 7. The show features work by Aesthetic Apparatus,
Amy Jo, Burlesque Design of North America, Dwitt and many more. Check your Pulse
next week for details on this upcoming hipster gig. ||
Hot & Cool: The Jazz Posters of Niklaus Troxler runs
through Feb. 6 at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Mpls.
612-870-3131. Gallery hours are Tue.–Wed. & Fri.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5
p.m.; Thu. 10 a.m.–9 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; closed Mon.