Dentifrices Gelle Freres

by Carlu
31 1/2 x 21 inches (80 x 54 cm)


Of all of Jean Carlu’s posters, Dentrifice Gelle is the most heavily influenced by Cubism. It is also among his very best, and was known to be his favorite. When I organized the retrospective of his work at the Musee de l’Affiche in Paris in 1980, Carlu told me that his dream would be to recreate a lithograph of the Gelle poster. Although the museum could not provide the funds necessary for the printing I was able to assemble the monies to help him realize this dream, and we met together at the Bedos printing house (which closed soon thereafter). For the printing, Carlu brought an outstanding maquette with him, proving that even at the age of 80 he was as good an artist as ever. He had improved upon the original 1927 image by exaggerating the white triangle of the teeth. Then, like in the good old days of lithography, we both worked closely with Mr. Raymond, the chief lithographer at Bedos, going color by color through the image. In all, 1000 copies were printed. In examining the final product, it became clear that while his art had remained as pure and strong as ever, his signature had changed over the years. This was Carlu’s last original poster. Weill no. 354, p. 206 (var), Carlu no. 15.



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