M. Cassandre was born Adolphe Jean Edouard Mouron and studied at
the Ecoles des Beaux Arts in Paris. He produced his first poster
Au Bucheron at 22. His inspiration for this piece and others that
followed, came from the fine arts active in Paris at the time. There
is evidence of influence from the works of Picasso and Braque. His
poster works celebrate architectonic structure and the machine.
His attraction and use of the steamboat and locomotive elements
were close to embracing the poetic spirit of friend Le Corbusier.
Close inspection of his works reveal a knowledge of the Purist principles
and the use of grid structures. In 1924 he created the great L’Intransigeant
truck poster. Cassandre’s work was seen as a bridge between the
modern fine arts and the commercial arts. Despite his affinity to
the fine arts he always believed there should be a separateness
between disciplines. The success of his posters probably lies in
his philosophy that his posters were meant to be seen by people
who do not try to see them. In 1936 he traveled to America to work
on several projects. While there he designed several surrealistic
covers for Alexey Brodovitch at Harper’s Bazaar. In addition, he
created for NW Ayers, the classic eye of the Ford billboard and
several pieces for the Container Corporation of America. His career
as a poster designer ended in 1939 when he changed disciplines and
became a stage, set and theatrical designer.