Not written by me, written by you as part of the Summer Of Design Books series. I know it's not summer now. This is the penultimate one. Not that you lot bloody care, it was only Loic who ever wrote them!
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This book focuses on what the author, Gilles de Bure, calls the golden age of illustration: the '60s and the '70s.
Is this so true? Seen from France, it seems illustration is still alive in the UK press, but I'm not sure.
Anyway, what is true is that this era saw the rise of a generation of brillant commercial artists, mostly around the Push Pin Studio, and the main interest of this book is to offer a nice panorama of pictures from often long gone magazines.
The is divided in a dozen of sections, each one dedicated to a social issue, like the american dream, war and violence, couple and sexuality, etc.
But the book ends with more monographic chapters, sometimes exciting (Paul Davis' theater posters or the ) sometimes too long for this book(Guy Pellaert's portraits).
What is amazing is to see the reflection of these days' occidental society in drawings and paintings. And not only in the subjects, but also in the style. I mean, no one draws like that anymore, right?
Turn the 200 pages of this book and you'll read a very precise story of these publishers, illustrators and designers, and there's a ggod reason for that: Gilles de Bure was there. He met almost all the people he names in his book, and some of them are still friends, allowing us to watch some rare original material (300 picture, yes sir!).
Unfortunatly, the main problem with that book is its layout: too much white space sometimes kills the picture, that's why you won't see plain pages here, only samples from these great illustrations.
With this book you can see how powerful drawings can be and how a wise publisher with a talented artist can answer any challenge.
Despite its coffee-table style, this book is a rare item: not just a compilation of smart artworks, but rather a demonstration of what can be done in the press field with some graphic ambition.
Gilles de Bure
Vilo International, 1999
PS1: Yes, the cover shown is in french, but the english version is available.
PS2: Ok, Summer's leaving, so do I…