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Impression Mourlot

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NEW PALTZ -- Art Posters on View at the Dorsky Museum

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York at New Paltz has organized a major exhibition of important and rarely seen color lithographic posters printed by Fernand Mourlot printed by Fernand Mourlot between 1936 - 1972 to promote one-person exhibitions by famous European modern artists at galleries throughout France, in particular Galerie Maeght in Paris. Impression Moulot will be on exhibit at the museum from September 8th through November 14th, 2004.

Image available at The posters represent an unprecedented collaboration between Fernand Mourlot and many of the most accomplished artists of the time including Picasso, Braque, Chagall, Dufy, Matisse, Miro, Kandinsky and others. Mourlot invited them to his atelier on Rue Charbol to design and create original posters for their own exhibitons. The radical combination of text and image was a curious marriage at the time, and its modern use contributed to the increased interest in lithography as an artistic form. Although Mourlot established an impressive reputation for the printing illustrated books and limited edition prints, the art poster became one of the most important features of his work.

The artists who often worked directly on the lithographic stone were given complete freedom in their designs, while legendary technicians at the atelier (Deschamps and Sorlier) assisted with the final execution of their creations.

From 1890 to 1900 (Belle Epoque), the popularity of the poster bordered on being a "mania" and the streets and store-fronts of Paris were covered with the new form of advertising that included lithographs that were the size of billboards. The famous art critic, Claude Roger-Mars, remarked that the posters made the walls of Paris sing.

A rare selection of early 19th century French posters by Jules Cheret (considered the father of the color lithographic poster), Henri de Tolouse-Lautrec, Auguste Federic Cazals, T.A. Steinlen, Eugene Grasset, and Alphonse Mucha are included in the exhibition to create an historical context for understanding the evolution of the poster and the seminal role that Fernand Mourlot played in transforming it.

Providing a fascinating glimpse into the history of printmaking, graphic design and modern art, the posters in Impression Mourlot were selected from a larger collection of Mourlot's work at the SDMA acquired between 1950 and 1960. Many are original lithographs, designed, drawn, and executed by the artist with Mourlot's assistance.

Museum Hours: Wednesday - Saturday, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Sunday 1-5:00 p.m. Closed on Monday and Tuesdays, university intersessions and national holidays. Museum Information: (845) 257-3844 or on the Web at Museum accommodates the disabled. Admission is free.

Images to accompany this press release are available at