This poster comes from the Netherlands:
Painters' trade union informs us that the hand holding a brush can also be a fist. Beware!..
Recently, yours truly and Stefan exchanged opinions on Interbellum art. Speaking of creativity and imagination, I mentioned countries unaffected by the Great War and revolutionary turmoil - namely, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Both were able to adopt innovative styles and techniques, and their poster art doesn't seem old-fashioned or conformist when put together with well-known French, Russian, German or Italian masterpieces.
By the way, what do we expect from a Dutch poster? Should it look like this:
... or this?
... or maybe this?
And when it comes to the politics, our expectations usually don't go beyond a colorful Mayday:
Now please say good-bye to all your expectations and send your stereotypes to the nearest scrapyard. Here is a typical example of the Interbellum Dutch propaganda:
Cornelis Rose urges us to read De Tribune, a "revolutionary people's daily". The year is 1931.
Albert Funke Kuepper, in a Cassandre-ish manner, is trying to sell us Het Volk, a Social-democratic daily (1929)
Another piece of Social-Democratic propaganda, an election poster by Albert Hahn, is calling: "Paint South Holland red!" (1932)
Labour and bread are promised (again, in red) to the people by the National-Socialist Movement.
And even the Roman-Catholic State Party's poster (by Jos van Woerkom, 1937) has a generous touch of red color
"Choose Red" by Walter for the Social-Democratic Workers' Party, 1929
The elections are about the future of your children - this is the red-flagged message of the same party, delivered by Fre Cohen (1930)
Here it is, the Red Fist, squeezing every enemy of the working class. Steef Davidson, 1931
De Fakkel means "the Torch". It's the name of the Independent Socialist Party daily, and this Red Torch was created by Meijer Bleekrode and Cornelis Rose in 1932
Futurism for the masses. Another De Tribune poster, by Cornelis Rose and Bergboom. 1932
Red Musicians. Joan B. Luersen, Francois Elsen for the Proletarian Musicians Union, 1931
An all-red sports festival. OK, it's International Workers Sports Festival (Albert Hahn, 1929)
Enough with the politics. The Interbellum Netherlands produced scores of striking commercial posters, promoting trade and industrial fair, transportation, radio sets, light bulbs - actually, everything. I especially love this one:
Philips Radio. 1930
Kees van der Laan. National Flight School. 1932
Aviation Lottery. 1934
Fly to Java by KNILM. 1938
Daan de Vries. Tourist Trophy - Dutch Grand Prix 1931
Amsterdam Motor Show 1935
By the way, A.M. Cassandre worked for the Dutch customers:
This 1930 poster is quite famous.
This, printed in 1928 for the Channel Ferries Service, is probably less. But isn't it great?
An iconic poster for the industrial exhibition in Rotterdam, also 1928.
Quite en event it was, this exhibition. Another poster, by a local artist:
Jaap Gidding. Netherlands Industry Exhibition. 1928
Henri C. Pieck. Utrecht Fair 1934
Emens. Utrecht Fair 1938
Philips Light Bulbs. 1938
Woldring. Study Technology at Home. 1938
Zandvoort Trophy. 1939
Holland-America Line to New York. 1939
Unfortunately, 1939 was not only the World's fair year. In May 1940, the Netherlands surrendered to the German forces. Thanks to this exceptional website, we can search digitized national memory for the stuff printed under the Nazi rule - but it's another story for another day.