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Leo Lionni (1910-1999)
Keep 'Em Rolling!
40 1/4 x 29 1/2 ins, 102 1/4 x 75 cm
Swann Galleries - New York
Sale 2414, Graphic Design, 10 May 2016, lot: 165
U.S. Government Printing Office, [Washington, D.C.]
These exceptional, patriotic work incentive posters were issued by the Office of Emergency Management right on the cusp of America's entry into the Second World War. "With the war still an abstraction for most Americans, these posters connected what happened 'here' and 'over there'" (Resnick p. 68). Lionni used his experience in advertising to visually connect these patriotic ideals to his audience, and he "[along with Herbert Matter, Lester Beall and Milton Ackoff] carried photographic poster illustration to new heights of inventiveness. [He was] able to bring the clean asymmetry of Bauhaus design into everyday life in this country long before Gropius and Mies Van der Rohe were given an opportunity to do so in architecture" (Word & Image p. 62). Born in Holland, Lionni grew up in Italy before finding success as an advertiser and Art Director in America. His advertising credits include work for Olivetti typewriters, Chrysler and Ford. Resnick 38, Word & Image p. 90, Modern Poster 196, The Poster p. 202, Fotoplakate 20, Modern American Poster 50-1, MoMA 880.1979, MoMA 151.1968.