Original Vintage Posters &
Artworks by Le Corbusier
A classy presentation of Original Vintage Posters & the worldwide largest selection of lithographs and engravings by Le Corbusier – that’s PLACART. We can also offer unique works by LC.
Looking forward to your visit
Tomas Rabara | PLACART
Art! Commerce! Value paper!
Having become popular in Paris at the end of the 19th century, advertising posters soon after also seduced the passers-by in Switzerland with their bright colors and captivating compositons – a new form of art was born.
Each of the posters available at Placart is one of the rare copies of the respective circulation that has survived to this day. The great majority of the posters went missing as they were hung up in the streets. (Picture: Werdmühleplatz Zürich, 1913; source: Baugeschichtliches Archiv Stadt Zürich)
Le Corbusier’s essence cannot be caught without seeing also the painter in him – the art of modernism is his foundation. It is what he dedicates himself to every morning over decades. His development as an architect follows the one that he goes through as an artist.
The story of this iconic poster by Niklaus Stoecklin dates back to 1638 when the Goldene Apotheke (Golden Pharmacy) was founded in Basel (that's why GABA). The pharmacy is still active, and its spin-off today produces – for example – the Elmex toothpaste (every Swiss knows Elmex). But back to the topic: 1846, on a study trip to America, Basel physician Dr. Emanuel Wybert observes how Indians cure their colds by chewing licorice roots. He then develops small diamond-shaped pastilles based on licorice and passes the recipe on to the Goldene Apotheke, which sells the first "Wybertli" in 1846. In 1910, they were renamed "Gaba tablets", industrially produced and advertised as a brand – using soon Stoecklin's radical and timeless poster design created 1927 as the trademark. It just fit perfectly with the incipient establishment of branded goods demanding images without any unmistakable characteristics of an artist's hand and inscribing the products in the collective memory.
Stoecklin (1896 - 1982) was trained amongst others by Burkhard Mangold, one of the three or four most important artists who cleared out the Swiss poster and brought it into the modern age. However, Gaba's scarcity isn't typical for Stoecklin's poster work, even when it is one of his catchiest designs. Today he is most known for being a highly influential representative of the New Objectivity and the hyperrealism style as well as the father of the Basel school which laid the foundation for the Swiss version of the "Sachplakat" (well, Otto Baumberger from Zurich had his merits too) which elevated everyday objects to icons developing a mysterious life of their own through sophisticated compositions and a very detailed rendering (that required excellent printers, by the way). Some notable Swiss poster designers such as Peter Birkhäuser, Donald Brun or Herbert Leupin were strongly influenced by him.
This is the first version that hardly ever appears on the market (all copies usually offered were printed by Wassermann after WW2); letterpress (linocut) printed 1927 by Benno Schwabe, Basel; 127,5 x 89,5 cm, condition B, available in the gallery.
I know of exactly one poster that became in its entirety the logo for a company: Alex Walter Diggelmann's design for the Hotel Schweizerhof at the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich, issued 1935. A subtle, but somewhat irritating and therefore powerful trick conveys the message: Since the chosen perspective nobly hides the eyes of the doorman, it is understood that here the guest can rely on unobtrusive service (I assume that Diggelmann did not want to encourage anyone to look down on the staff…).
An icon of Swiss poster history – and so rare that it isn’t even in a single public Swiss poster collection.
Lithograph, printed by Wolfsberg, Zurich, rather A than A- condition, 128x90,5 cm – on hold.
Neues Bauen (New Building) meets Art Déco: Poster by Otto Jakob Plattner (1886–1951), promoting the first public swimming pool in the canton of Baselland (Gartenbad Gitterli in Liestal, built by Max Tüller). Sober dynamism at it‘s best – an icon of Swiss poster history.
Otto Plattner, 1934, lithograph, printed by Wassermann, A condition, 127x89,5 cm, available in the gallery and (soon) online.
Brutally rare and therefore hardly ever seen poster by Armin Hofmann (1920–2020) announcing an exhibition of Jackson Pollock‘s œuvre 1958 at the Kunsthalle Basel (so pretty early for European standards...). The work shown is „Untitled“, 1951, ink and colored ink on Japanese paper, 62x87 cm. Surprisingly, it‘s pictured laterally reversed. However, I don‘t think that it was noticed by anybody in Switzerland back then...
Being one of the most influential graphic designers (and teachers!) in Switzerland, Hofmann has
contributed very much to the great international reputation of Swiss (typo)graphics.
Letterpress, A- condition, 128x90,5 cm, available in the gallery and (soon) online.
It’s a hard task to keep it simple. And to lend it even an unreal lightness – as in the case of the winner of the Swiss Poster Award 1962 promoting performances of the New York City Ballet in Zurich, created by Josef Müller-Brockmann (1914–1996), the undisputed leader of the Zurich post-war graphic school, and Peter Andermatt (1938–2005) who started as employee at the Atelier Müller-Brockmann to become his office manager and then partner.
Serigraph printed on black paper, A condition, 127x89 cm, available in the gallery and online – rare.