Monday, August 24, 2009

Bernie Fuchs... "revolutionized all the old concepts"

The other day Charlie Allen sent me a note that he had been perusing his reference file of Bernie Fuchs illustrations. "Hadn't looked at Fuchs in maybe years," wrote Charlie. "Large, very full...I have scads of examples... I could wear out a scanner sending them!"

"Occurs to me TI hasn't blogged Fuchs for a long time," he continued, "...can't remember when."

The truth is I've never really done any posts focusing on Bernie Fuchs - a gross oversight on my part.

Charlie put it beautifully in his note: "[Bernie Fuchs] was without exception the biggest force in illustration from the mid to late 50's on for maybe 15 years."

"His best work, in fact most of it, revolutionized all the old concepts of content, composition, technique, and even drama. He had more 'groupies', imitators, wanna be's, than any of the other greats that we've seen this year."

"They all had a style and talents of their own. But Fuchs had a following....he set a whole new style of illustrative work."

Charlie, who's illustrated more than a few ads for Gallo Wines, sent along one done by Fuchs. "One of two he did," Charlie explained.

"Don't know where he found time for it with his schedule."

And then this: "I'll start sending some scans if you'd like. I'd also like to know a bit more about him....and if he's still around. Have a hunch he's about four or five years younger than I."

With the promise of more scans, Charlie set the ball rolling for this week's topic. This won't be the only time we look at the work of Bernie Fuchs. As with some of the other giants of mid-century illustration like Parker, Briggs and Fawcett, his influence is just too important not to revisit again and again.

Many thanks to Charlie Allen, who's blog has just been updated with another great sampling of his own exceptional work. Now that you've reached the end of this post, head right over to Charlie Allen's Blog for more visual treats!

* My Bernie Fuchs Flickr set

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