Lot 49: MAX PONTY (1904-1972) PEUGEOT. Circa 1935.
May 10, 2004
New York, NY, USA
47x31 inches. Hachard, Paris.
Condition B+: minor tears and freying in margins; creases and abrasions in image.
Ponty's most memorable contribution to the world of graphic arts was the Gitanes cigarette package, which he designed in 1947. By that time he already had a long and distinguished career behind him. Ponty spent seven years working for Draeger, the Parisian printer, and then opened his own studio and received regular commissions to design travel posters as well as posters for clients like Galeries Lafayette, Radiola and Peugeot. His style is very typical of the French Art Deco school, relying heavily on the use of the airbrush. In this poster for Peugeot motorcycles, he timorously introduces photography into the design, another characteristic of French designers in those days, but not something he often worked with. The image is good and dynamic despite this unexplored medium, playing with blue, white and red. Separated by an "s"-shaped curve, he displays the engine at full speed with the photograph of the bike beneath it.