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Typography in Art

What are the connections between artwork and words? After all, the ways in which we relate to each artform are entirely different: for a long time painting was seen to be without narration, whereas novels for example, narrate without the visual aid of imagery. Let's take a deeper look at the question. 

Although appreciated during the Middle Ages in book ornamentation, literature soon abandoned artists' vocabulary for several centuries. With the exception of short Latin quotations in neoclassical paintings, artists were not to regain an interest in text until the 20th century. 

It was initially in the work of poets that this return came to fruition. In calligrams, Apollinaire makes the sentences form a star or a cat shape. 

Then came the turn of the Cubists. Thanks to newspaper collages, they anchored their works in reality. In the Cubist paintings of Picasso and Juan Gris, the words give the viewer clues to the meaning of the painting. Thus, this was the beginning of an artistic revolution.

Ideal for shocking people or making them laugh or question their beliefs, words are an indispensable tool to engage the spectator. Soon after, the Dada and Surrealist movements appropriated the medium. Take for example, Magritte's paintings such as the famous 'Ceci n'est pas une pipe'.

The contemporary heirs of this practice are undeniably the Street artists. Their works are often based on words or calligraphic expressions. The paintings of L'Atlas are the perfect illustration of this. 

From this point on, it is easier to understand why literature is so prolific within art, and equally, what art and art history have had to say about literature. Although writing and literature have long been the symbol of erudition, the relationship between art and words has evolved to no longer be elitist.

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Baptiste Laurent, De l'enfant et du mariage, Série Ibère Nation, Drawing

Baptiste Laurent

De l'enfant et du mariage, Série Ibère Nation, 2014
54.7 x 43.3 inch
Drawing

$2,213

Our recommendations Vuk Vidor, French Art History (B), Print

Vuk Vidor

French Art History (B), 2016
39.4 x 27.6 inch
Print

$466

Raffaella Benetti, Librarsi, Sculpture

Raffaella Benetti

Librarsi, 2017
16.9 x 9.8 x 9.8 inch
Sculpture

$1,747

Charlotte Barrault, Justine, Painting

Charlotte Barrault

Justine, 2016
39.4 x 31.9 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$2,096

Reinhard Gorner, Milich'sche Library I, Görlitz, Photography

Reinhard Gorner

Milich'sche Library I, Görlitz, 2016
50 x 51.2 inch
Photography

$4,891

Peter Wüthrich, Literary smoke, Drawing

Peter Wüthrich

Literary smoke, 2015
12.6 x 12.6 x 1.6 inch
Drawing

$2,912

León Ferrari, A un lado por la izquierda, Print

León Ferrari

A un lado por la izquierda, 2009
22 x 15 inch
Print

$1,165

Adele Moreau, Adventures at Sea, Sculpture

Adele Moreau

Adventures at Sea, 2017
7.9 x 5.5 x 1.6 inch
Sculpture

$901

Angel Mateo Charris, Donde los Escorpiones, Painting

Angel Mateo Charris

Donde los Escorpiones, 2015
37.4 x 25.6 inch
Painting

$6,056

Claire Fontaine, Untitled (What is freedom?), Print

Claire Fontaine

Untitled (What is freedom?), 2012
47.2 x 35.4 inch
Print

$2,912

Daneïs, Livre et fleurs de pommier, Painting

Daneïs

Livre et fleurs de pommier, 1990
13 x 16.1 inch
Painting

$5,707

Bisco Smith, One for All, All for One, Painting

Bisco Smith

One for All, All for One, 2018
24 x 18.1 x 0 inch
Painting

$2,271

Said Dokins, Shin Sei, Painting

Said Dokins

Shin Sei, 2017
19.7 x 19.7 inch
Painting

$2,096

Amélie Lainé, Cascade évangélisée, Photography

Amélie Lainé

Cascade évangélisée, 2018
29.5 x 19.7 x 0 inch
Photography

$757

Ingeborg Häberle, Entspannende Lektüre, Painting

Ingeborg Häberle

Entspannende Lektüre, 2015
11.8 x 15.7 x 0.4 inch
Painting

$1,223 $1,747

Lilly Sotirova, Book of life, Painting

Lilly Sotirova

Book of life, 2012
29.5 x 19.7 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$1,805

Brankica Zilovic, Totem détail - Jean-Paul Sartre La Nausée, Drawing

Brankica Zilovic

Totem détail - Jean-Paul Sartre La Nausée, 2016
11.8 x 11.8 x 2.8 inch
Drawing

$1,747

Guela Patiachvili, Machines 5-6, Painting

Guela Patiachvili

Machines 5-6, 2015
39.4 x 31.9 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$5,707

Our recommendations Francine Van Hove, Etude pour "L'Heure bleue", Drawing

Francine Van Hove

Etude pour "L'Heure bleue", 2008
19.7 x 25.6 inch
Drawing

$2,329

Francine Van Hove, Un peu de rouge, Painting

Francine Van Hove

Un peu de rouge, 2011
19.7 x 25.6 inch
Painting

$12,811

Feng Hatat, Shakespeare, Photography

Feng Hatat

Shakespeare, 2013
15.7 x 23.6 x 0.8 inch
Photography

$699

Takala, La plume - Série Les Caprices de Madame Bovary, Photography

Takala

La plume - Série Les Caprices de Madame Bovary, 2013
21.7 x 21.7 x 1.6 inch
Photography

$873

DB Waterman, Times like these, Painting

DB Waterman

Times like these, 2020
18.9 x 24.8 x 0 inch
Painting

$990

2flui, Credulity, Painting

2flui

Credulity, 2016
11.8 x 11.8 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$524

2flui, Conviction, Painting

2flui

Conviction, 2016
11.8 x 11.8 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$524

Pierrot Men, Série Mains, Fianarantsoa, Madagascar, 2017, Photography

Pierrot Men

Série Mains, Fianarantsoa, Madagascar, 2017, 2017
11.8 x 17.7 inch
Photography

$1,572

Patrick Moya, Sans titre, Painting

Patrick Moya

Sans titre, 2015
18.1 x 24 x 0.8 inch
Painting

$2,096

Peter Wüthrich, Literary smoke, Drawing

Peter Wüthrich

Literary smoke, 2015
12.6 x 12.6 x 1.6 inch
Drawing

$2,912

Peter Wüthrich, Literary smoke, Drawing

Peter Wüthrich

Literary smoke, 2015
12.6 x 12.6 x 1.6 inch
Drawing

$2,912

Pieter Ceizer, Leave it all behind Vol 2, Painting

Pieter Ceizer

Leave it all behind Vol 2, 2020
59.1 x 59.1 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$6,056

Chrystelle Gouy, Follow your soul, Painting

Chrystelle Gouy

Follow your soul, 2017
19.7 x 19.7 x 1.6 inch
Painting

$932

Reinhard Gorner, Neustift Abbey library, Photography

Reinhard Gorner

Neustift Abbey library, 2016
50 x 59.4 x 1.2 inch
Photography

$4,891

León Ferrari, Árbol embarazador, Print

León Ferrari

Árbol embarazador, 2009
22 x 15 inch
Print

$1,165

Our recommendations Michel Ajerstejn, Machine , Photography

Michel Ajerstejn

Machine , 2009
35.4 x 29.5 x 0.8 inch
Photography

$1,863

Joanna Wiszniewska Domanska, Papertown - girl with a stroller, Drawing

Joanna Wiszniewska Domanska

Papertown - girl with a stroller, 2017
12.6 x 8.7 inch
Drawing

$466

Fabien Vieilletoile, Woody, Photography

Fabien Vieilletoile

Woody, 2012
41.3 x 27.2 x 1.2 inch
Photography

$920

Daniel Barroso, Lectora, Painting

Daniel Barroso

Lectora, 2013
39.4 x 27.6 inch
Painting

$1,980

Daniel Waks, La lectrice, Photography

Daniel Waks

La lectrice, 2015
23.6 x 15.7 inch
Photography

$1,747

Sergio Ceccotti, Intérieur, soir, Painting

Sergio Ceccotti

Intérieur, soir, 2006
39.4 x 31.9 inch
Painting

$6,755

Pol Quadens, Book, Sculpture

Pol Quadens

Book, 2015
11 x 11 x 8.7 inch
Sculpture

$699

Gipé, C.4, Drawing

Gipé

C.4, 2016
16.5 x 11.4 x 0.4 inch
Drawing

$524

Daneïs, Livres et Pâquerettes, Print

Daneïs

Livres et Pâquerettes, 1982
18.9 x 26 inch
Print

$326

Daneïs, Livre et encrier, Print

Daneïs

Livre et encrier, 1982
10.2 x 15.4 inch
Print

$221

Daneïs, L'encrier, Print

Daneïs

L'encrier, 1982
11.4 x 14.6 inch
Print

$221

Leticia Felgueroso, Lectura, Photography

Leticia Felgueroso

Lectura, 2017
16.5 x 19.7 inch
Photography

$705

Charlotte Fröling, Still life with books and a globe, Photography

Charlotte Fröling

Still life with books and a globe, 2015
23.6 x 35.4 inch
Photography

$3,319

Natalia Kuznetsova, La liseuse à la perle, Painting

Natalia Kuznetsova

La liseuse à la perle, 2005
35.4 x 39.4 inch
Painting

$1,863

Mika Nak, We are the Champion, Painting

Mika Nak

We are the Champion, 2020
36.2 x 28.7 x 1.2 inch
Painting

$3,494

Zaven Paré, Golems et Robots 9, Drawing

Zaven Paré

Golems et Robots 9, 2009
6.7 x 9.8 x 0 inch
Drawing

$961

Zaven Paré, Golems et Robots 8, Drawing

Zaven Paré

Golems et Robots 8, 2009
6.7 x 9.8 x 0 inch
Drawing

$1,025

Michele Ranzani, Interior with figures, study XXIX, Photography

Michele Ranzani

Interior with figures, study XXIX, 2014
39.4 x 25.2 x 1.2 inch
Photography

$2,562

Brankica Zilovic, Totem détail - Esprit de famille, Drawing

Brankica Zilovic

Totem détail - Esprit de famille, 2015
11.8 x 11.8 x 2.8 inch
Drawing

$1,747

Brankica Zilovic, Totem - Détail - Encyclopédie medicale Cystite, Drawing

Brankica Zilovic

Totem - Détail - Encyclopédie medicale Cystite, 2016
11.8 x 11.8 x 2.8 inch
Drawing

$1,747

Ben, Nothing important, Painting

Ben

Nothing important, 2014
19.7 x 24 inch
Painting

Sold out

Martine Fauve Dechavanne, Les livres de Colette, Painting

Martine Fauve Dechavanne

Les livres de Colette, 2016
47.2 x 47.2 x 1 inch
Painting

Sold out

Daniel Barroso, Lectrice, Painting

Daniel Barroso

Lectrice, 2014
31.5 x 23.6 x 0.8 inch
Painting

Sold out

Nam June Paik, Composition pour les JO, Print

Nam June Paik

Composition pour les JO, 1992
24.8 x 35.4 inch
Print

Sold out

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