Thursday, May 24, 2018

Austin Cooper: Posters to Abstraction

Austin Cooper (1890-1964) was a Canadian-born British poster artist who, before he died, must have discovered that an automobile (the Austin Mini Cooper) was his namesake. Kidding aside, Cooper was one of a group of illustrators who created travel posters using a similar technique for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), especially during the 1930s.

His Wikipedia entry mentions that he moved across the Atlantic a few times but finally settled in England following his service in the Canadian army in the Great War. Besides creating posters, he managed a school of commercial art in the late 1930s, then abandoned illustration in the mid-1940s to pursue fine arts. Some of his abstract paintings are in the Tate collection.


It's not clear to me what this poster was promoting, though the smokestacks are painted Canadian Pacific colors.

One of a series with the same theme and style.

Probably from the late 1920s.

He did a few posters for Indian Railways.

For a 1931 exhibit at the V&A.

This, from 1932.

This is a highly unusual style for a LNER poster. It was done around the mid-1930s, judging by the woman's clothing.

Abstraction 200/62 - 1957-1962

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