Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I know I'm usually all about the ha-has, but today I'm going to show you my softer side (did anyone else get the old Sears commercials in their heads when I said that?). 

Normally, what gets me into a poster is the that insta-magic I feel when I first lay eyes on it. This is usually due to some sort of graphic awesomeness, bizarre juxtapositions, cool advertising methods, nudity, or absolute hilarity. In the case of this poster, none of those things caught my attention. 

What did grab me right away is the frame whoever consigned this little beauty to us decided to construct around it. Sadly, I cannot visually share this frame with you as I only have the photo from the catalogue; however, take it from me, this frame is to other frames what La Perla is to Victoria's Secret--absolutely beyond even considering a comparison. We're talking flawless black lacquer, seamlessly smooth wood, and a backing that probably made nuns in Calcutta go blind. We're talking some serious Gepetto action on this frame. 

Why is this at all relevant, you ask? Well, because sometimes a poster that isn't all bells and whistles can be raised to a near-godly status by the right presentation. I would not have thought much about this Loupot poster for Bonnard without its amazing frame. But now that the frame grabbed my attention, I have to admit that this is one of the most understated, lovely images we have ever had the privilege to offer. 

Loupot's managed to create the effect of sfumato in a overtly two-dimensional medium--that alone is magnificent. She's got this hazy, mid-motion swish to her entire body, like a girl spinning around in a new dress. Some of my friends see a Geisha, others their beautifully-done-up Jewish mother from the 1960s trying on shawls at Bendels. And, while those two readings of the image aren't necessarily correct, they both involve this feeling of luxury--cashmere and Chanel No. 5, chanton silk and oriental rugs, amber and blush.

Overall, it's an image that really does have the power to transport you to a different time and place. And, frankly, that makes it more valuable than anything in this auction. 

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