Commissioned for Bach's tricentennial, Glaser's punning poster is a series of portraits in different media on various papers. It's a virtuoso performance and was included in the "Milton Glaser on Music" exhibit at New York's Lincoln Center Gallery. The masterful photograph is by Matthew Klein.
Printed in 1989, it advertises the release of Bach's complete keyboard works on digital recording under the Tomato label.
Because it's digital, Bach is shown here wearing a multi-colored Zoot Suit. Joao Carlos Martins, considered one of the world's most dynamic interpreters of Bach's keyboard repertory in the 1960s, was forced to quite playing in 1970s after a freack soccer accident. When he returned in 1979, he began this recording project but had to stop again, and at the time of this poster, had only resumed playing recently. In 1993, Martins was mugged, and a minor stroke paralyzed his right hand.
Glaser represented the illustrator's twin talents through a series of signing hands with a stylized eye drawn in each palm. Against the black background, the rainbow striations of color vibrate and shimmer.
Rarely has Cubism looked so engaging as in this image of a cello fellow bowing away—the fifth and final poster in Glaser’s TDK-sponsored series for Juilliard. The artist loves music, loves educational institutions, loves the shape of the cello—and it all shows
Beginning in 1987, the audio-tape manufacturer TDK underwrote a series of annual posters for the Juilliard School of Music at New York’s Lincoln Center. Glaser has designed them all. Here, in the fourth, the lightning power of music brings a carefully-painted Dutch floral still life into three-dimensional bloom.
Although most of Glaser's posters are for cultural events or institutions, this commission was occasioned by the bicentennial of the United States Constitution. A blocky profile of blind justice dominates the design. The panel below it has a vague flavor of Grecian columns, suggesting classical virtues and Parthenon-style courthouse architecture.
In this exhibition poster for a retrospective of the Impressionist master’s works, much of the paper is unused, the upper part of the face is in shadow and the lower part is obscured by a beard—yet the image is definitive. Writing about a drawing of Whitman, Glaser notes, "Over a period of years I discovered that my best portraits
Poppy was an unconventional '60s record company that Glaser had introduced with an image of a bright flower breaking through a stone monolith. Ironically, the company was so successful that it was ultimately sold to one of the established big companies it had positioned itself against. For this almost free concert of poppy recording artists (Townes Van Zandt, The Mandrake, Dick Gregory) taking place on Thanksgiving Eve at New York's Carnegie Hall ("$2.50-first come, first served"), Glaser continued the poppy motif with an engaging blossom-brained gobbler. The typeface-Neo-Futura-a stencil variation on the classic Bauhaus Futura alphabet-is only one of the many that he has created.
In keeping with its aims of supporting and fostering the appreciation of contemporary graphics while celebrating the lithographic traditions from which these designs sprung, Poster Auctions International commissioned a series of original poster designs to commemorate their twice-yealy sales from 1992 through 1997, at which point economic realities prevailed over artistic sentiments. The participating graphic artists comprise a who's who of the world's most-distinguished posterists, and each poster is a limited-edition of 200 numbered copies-all hand-signed-on special stock. Note that the design was also printed in an edition on regular stock to be pasted on the walls of Manhattan prior to each sale. The fact that these posters were papered over or torn down only days after they went up is another reason why these are so rare. Glaser focuses on the art of seeing with this design of a witty face in profile. The bright eye focuses our attention and suggests the visual treasures to be had.
The poster for the inaugural season of this event focuses on the opening work: the American premiere of Aribert Reimann's Lear directed by Jean-Pierre Ponnelle. Glaser's profile of the raging king is lit by the hellish fire in his eye—the face of his daughter Cordelia who he thinks has betrayed him. Type placed on the diagonal echoes the contours of the emotional design.
To announce the company's 59th season, Glaser superimposes the head and torso of a sinuous Carmen on the erect back of the orchestra conductor. She's all flamboyant color, he's in tuxedo black, and the forms meld with electric results.
For this annual summer arts festival held in upstate New York, Glaser places a Pan figure on a hill overlooking a lake with dreamy fantasies of color and harmony bubbling out of his overheated brain. Glaser also used this satyr in a poster for the 1985 retrospective of his own work in Pasadena.
Glaser has remarked that the way he illustrated the well-known folk-rock composer-singers here was, in a reverse of the usual process, influenced by the appearance of the typeface he used-his own "Babyfat" alphabet.
Using a theme line created by Sony's adverting agency at the time, Glaser designs a shell-shaped ear in glorious colors to suggest the rich aural experience of listening to Sony audio tape. Its background: the profile of a 19th-century listener silhouetted against music notation paper. The poster pleased sufficiently to earn Glaser a follow-up commission in 1981.
In this announcement for a concert at Lincoln Center's Philharmonic Hall, Glaser's stylized portrait of the revered rock-and-roll singer features his trademark wide smile and his name on the diagonal over his dark shades. Glaser also created a poster for jazz musician Masakela's solo appearance at Philharmonic Hall around the same time.
The last in a trio of posters-this one commissioned by Mobil-that Glaser did for this concert series in Philadelphia. His Cubist portrait of a muse in profile shows her brow-cum-swan: in ancient literature, the symbol of Orpheus, the god of music.
In a witty riff on the well-known Thomas Gainsborough portrait, Glaser portrays this pop-rock group responsible for such hits as "Do You Believe in Magic" and "Summer In The City" as a quartet of Blue Boys with their eponymous spoons instead of heads.
Glaser places his haunting image over a quote celebrating the snow leopard's magnificent nature. Barely tamed by the art of the portrait, the vibrant colors evoke the cat's glowing eyes and fiery freedom.