Born Adolphe Jean-Marie Mouron in Kharkov, Ukraine, to French parents, as a young man, Cassandre moved to Paris, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and at the Académie Julian. The popularity of posters as advertising afforded him an opportunity to work for a Parisian printing house. Inspired by cubism as well as surrealism, he earned a reputation with works such as Bûcheron (Woodcutter), a poster created for a cabinetmaker that won first prize at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs.
Cassandre became successful enough that with the help of partners he was able to set up his own advertising agency called Alliance Graphique. Serving a wide variety of clientele, during the 1930s, his creations for the Dubonnet wine company were among the first posters designed in a manner that allowed them to be seen by occupants in fast-moving vehicles. His posters are memorable for their innovative graphic solutions and their frequent denotations to such painters as Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso. In addition, he taught graphic design at the École des Arts Décoratifs and then at the École d'Art Graphique.
With typography an important part of poster design, the company created several new typeface styles. Cassandre developed Bifur in 1929, the sans serif Acier Noir in 1935, and in 1937 an all-purpose font called Peignot. In 1936, his works were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City which led to commissions from Harper's Bazaar to do cover designs.
With the onset of World War II, Cassandre served in the French army until the fall of France. His business long gone, he survived by creating stage sets and costumes for the theatre, something he had dabbled in during the 1930s. After the war, he continued this line of work while also returning to easel painting. In 1963, he designed the well-known Yves Saint-Laurent logo.
In 1985, Henri Mouron told his father's life story in a book titled A.M. Cassandre. The book, published in English by Rizzoli, is currently out of print.. In January 2000, the Estate of A.M Cassandre announced its relationship with Le Comptoir des Musees (LCM), which now manages the worldwide copyrights for the Estate of A.M. Cassandre. LCM and the Estate of A.M. Cassandre announced their shared intention to "improve [their] work with publishers and editors for a better quality of reproduction in respect of A.M. Cassandre's work..
Style Craze with a Legacy of Car Boot Sale Bargains; Collectors Can Still Find Good Deals despite Art Deco Boom
Mar 22, 2003; Byline: LORNE SPICER THE popularity of Art Deco is about to hit new highs with an exhibition that opens at the Victoria & Albert...