Bernard Villemont’s poster art can be seen everywhere—in galleries, museums, and poster shops throughout the world. Whether promoting Perrier, Bally shoes, or Orangina, his artwork has translated advertising messages into memorable images. Yet, as familiar as these posters may be, his body of work stretches over five decades and includes film posters, public service posters, and more. Here, for the first time, a lavishly illustrated book presents the most complete collection of Villemot’s work ever assembled, including many images that have never been seen before. Embracing an Icon: The Posters of Bernard Villemot is a unique look at the artist and his art, from Villemot’s time as a struggling graphic illustrator to his place as one of the last great poster artists of our time. Born in France in 1911, Villemot studied under Art Deco master Paul Colin, merging his use of sharp line with a modern interpretation of color akin to that of Matisse. At the time of his death in 1989, Villemot was the most lauded commercial artist of the late twentieth century, and his many designs still strike contemporary audiences as fresh and exciting. Within this 320-page coffee table-sized book are images of the artist’s 565 commercial designs in full, vibrant color. In addition, Embracing an Icon provides insightful essays on the artist’s importance in the history of modern advertising and graphic art, as well as his long-time relationship with major brands. Published by Posters Please, Inc., the leading international publisher of poster art books, this title is distributed through Square One Publishers. Its most recent title, Cappiello, has sold over 10,000 copies.
Jeanne Bon Salle has shared a lifelong love of posters with her husband, George. She assisted in the research and gathering of the hundreds of beautiful images found in Embracing an Icon. Today, the Bon Salles reside in Florida.
George Bon Salle is a former professional basketball player, having played for both the NBA’s Syracuse Nationals and the Chicago Packers (known today as the Washington Wizards), as well as the NIBL’s Denver Truckers. His impressive lifetime collection of works by Villemot, with whom he had a personal friendship, provides the core of this book. However, Bon Salle also drew from libraries and private collections around the world in order to create a unique and comprehensive work. The author also selected the book’s essays, which were written by notable historians as well as directors of the companies for which Villemot created lasting images.