Cézanne Revisited

cezanne-w-marden4card-players-both9I had the wonderful privilege of going through Philadelphia yesterday and having the chance to actually view the show Cézanne and Beyond. It’s just curatorial genius!

As mentioned in an earlier post, the show not only contains more than 50 classic Cézanne works but juxtaposes them against over 100 works of other artists as diverse as Picasso, Kelly, Johns, Marden, and Wall.

This got me thinking that it might be interesting to contrast classic packages and demonstrate their influence on design work that came later. So look for this as a new regular feature of this blog.

We often tend to misunderstand, or at least minimize, the direct influences of previous generations of package design and designers. My feeling though, is that the creative influences of earlier generations of designers is as strong as the influence of Cézanne’s, so ably demonstrated by this exhibition.

Again, go see this show! 


All images are from the PMA show, except the Marden which is very close to the one shown in Philly. The left image contrasts Cézanne and Marden, the right image Cézanne and Wall.


About Richard Shear

designer, husband, teacher, blogger, father, athlete, author, historian Richard has over 25 years of brand identity and package design experience, with a wide range of clients such as Ahold, Coca-Cola, Hasbro, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, Pernod Ricard and Procter & Gamble. He began his career working with the legendary advertising art director, and AIGA Medalist, George Lois and the British design manager Clive Chajet. In his next design management position at Lippincott & Margulies, he worked with Walter Margulies learning the complex skills of global corporate identity. He then became Creative Director and Partner at Peterson & Blyth, one of the premier brand identity and package design firms of the time. He is a founding faculty member of the Masters in Branding Program at New York’s School of Visual Arts. He publishes the blog The Package Unseen, and has been a guest lecturer at colleges including FIT, Trinity College and Tyler School of Art. He is a graduate of the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. Richard is a Board member of the AIGA MetroNorth Chapter, past President of AIGA‘s Brand Design Association, President of the Package Design Council and a member of its Board of Directors. He is a member of USA Cycling and US Rowing, a nationally ranked masters bicycle racer, and a member of The Saugatuck Rowing Club, the 2010 Masters Club National Champion.
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