“During his first year in England Kauffer became a member of the London Group, a society of adventuresome painters who embraced Cubism. He refused to abandon painting for his new advertising career; rather, he questioned the growing schism between fine and applied art. ‘He could see no reason for conflict between good art work and good salesmanship,’ wrote Zachary. In fact, he was dismayed by the inferior quality of English advertising compared to work being done on the continent. During the 1890s there was a period in which the ‘art poster’ flourished in England, exemplified by the Beggarstaff Brothers, yet this brief flicker of progressivism was soon snuffed out by nostalgic fashions. Although Kauffer’s earliest posters were picturesque, they were hardly sentimental; he intuitively found the right balance between narrative and symbolic depiction in stark prefigurations of his later abstract images.”

Copyright 1992 by The American Institute of Graphic Arts.

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