Film Poster exhibition at MoMa

posted by Michael Zoldessy on October 23, 2008 at 10:44 am

NEW YORK, NY — MoMa is celebrating the work of Batiste Madalena in the realm of film posters, specifically his projects having to do with the Eastman Theatre. The exhibition just opened and runs through March 14.

New York, October 14, 2008—Batiste Madalena: Hand-Painted Film Posters for the Eastman Theatre, 1924-1928 presents the work of the artist Batiste Madalena (American, b. Italy, 1902—-1988), who was hired by George Eastman during the late period of silent cinema, from 1924 to 1928, to design and hand-paint film posters for the Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York. In advance of seeing the films themselves, Madalena would work with still photographs, press materials, and his passion for particular performers to create one-of-a-kind posters promoting larger-than-life subjects, all on a scale that could be clearly seen from cars passing the theater’s outdoor poster vitrines. Working alone over a four-year period and against deadlines that required as many as eight new posters a week for each change of bill, Madalena created over 1,400 original works before the end of his tenure, when the theater changed management. Approximately 250 of these posters survived when the artist himself rescued them from the trash behind the theater.

Madalena’s rediscovery in the 1980s brought his brilliantly colored, singular designs, done in tempera paint on paper board, to the attention of critics and collectors, and soon made him one of the most celebrated advertising artists for moving pictures. This exhibition consists of 53 posters drawn from institutional and private lenders, as well as The Museum of Modern Art’s collection. The exhibition is on view in The Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters Lobby Galleries from October 15, 2008, through April 6, 2009. The exhibition, and the accompanying film series, is organized by Ron Magliozzi, Assistant Curator, and Jenny He, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art.

Read more at MoMa.

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