Ad Nauseum

London Transport advertisements are considered one of the most successful brand campaigns in history. Before you heckle us with Who cares? Do I look like one of those brain manipulators at Miami Ad School?, take a deep breath. Despite Naomi Klein’s anti-brand manifesto, No Logo, ads aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. And considering we’re blitzed with almost 3,000 such messages a day, wouldn’t it be nice if they were all as visually compelling as a London tube ad? A new exhibit, “Art for All: British Posters for Transport,” at the Wolfsonian reveals that London Transport posters mirror the cutting-edge art of their day. Commissioned artists such as Edward McKnight Kauffer and Tom Purvis used abstract aesthetics — futurism, cubism, even Japanese woodcuts — to advertise new express trains and underground stops. Organized by the Yale Center for British Art, “Art for All” opens to the public this Friday and runs through August 14.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays, noon. Starts: April 15. Continues through Aug. 14, 2011
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Amanda McCorquodale