The Theater Posters of James McMullan

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Penguin Studio, 1998 - Design - 126 pages
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On buses, billboards, and train platforms, in newspapers and magazines, a poster's swift promise in glorious color or powerful dark tones offers a vivid impression of what awaits a theatergoer, and provides the lasting mental image of a play long after its closing night. No one creates such images with more invention, honesty, and beauty--sometimes disturbingly, but always memorably--than James McMullan. "The Theater Posters of James McMullan" is an illuminating collection of 36 posters from 1976 to the present (from "Arcadia" and "Carousel" to "Six Degrees of Separation" ), almost all of them for New York's Lincoln Center Theater, by this artist for whom "the body itself becomes a quickly understood gesture like the movement of a mime or a dance." The ragman hanging off the lamppost with his flaming match in "Road," the French-postcard wink of the "Anything Goes" woman, Eros aiming his arrow in "Four Baboons Admiring the Sun" . . . full-page reproductions of McMullan's posters accompany his stories of their geneses. Reference photographs, sketches, and alternate versions illustrate his search for the perfect visual metaphor. Most of all, the personalities and dramas of the theater people who surrounded each poster's birth--from Wole Soyinka and John Guare to Liv Ullmann, Patti LuPone, and Mike Nichols--fill this gift book of choice for all theater and art lovers.

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User Review  - thatotter - LibraryThing

I really enjoyed looking at the large reproductions of McMullan's theater posters and learning some of the stories behind how they came to be. Seeing studies for and sketches of the artwork morph into the final product was especially interesting. Read full review


Comedians 1976
Death and the Kings Horseman February 131987
ROad July 14 1988

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About the author (1998)

James McMullan, one of America's foremost illustrators, is best known for his many acclaimed theater posters for Lincoln Center. His 1976 New York magazine cover and interior illustrations inspired the imagery of the film Saturday Night Fever. He is the author of four books and teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he lives

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