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Taking a Moment to Look Back

While conducting research on how the work of Hungarian artist Victor de Vasarely (1906-1997) may have influenced Jean Paul Gaultier’s Autumn/Winter 1995/96 collection, I came across this poster created for the 1972 Olympics held in Munich.

Curiosity of course, got the best of me (as it usually does) and I started to look at other works acquired at the time.  I discovered that in 1971, the Organisationskomitee für die Spiele der XX. Olympiade München 1972 (the Organizing Committee for the Games of the XX. Munich 1972) donated to the IMA seven different lithographs commissioned specifically for the event. After briefly conferring with IMA curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs, Martin Krause, I learned it was customary in the period, to enlist artists to promote the Olympics.

In total, 29 international artists were commissioned to create posters for the games that year, which now mark their 40th anniversary.  Represented in the IMA’s collection are works by:  Horst Antes (German, b. 1936), Shusaku Arakawa (Japanese, 1936-2010), Eduardo Chillida (Spanish, 1924-2002), Piero Dorazio (Italian, 1927-2005), Allen Jones (British, b. 1937), Pierre Soulages (French, b. 1919) and Victor de Vasarely (Hungarian, 1906-1997).

Allen Jones, “Olympische Spiele Munchen 1972,” 1972. Gift of the Organisationkomitee fur die Spiele der XX. Olympiade Munchen 1972. 71.79.5.

Horst Antes, “Olympische Spiele Munchen 1972,” 1972. Gift of the Organisationskomitee fur die Spiele der XX. 71.79.1

Piero Dorazio, “Olympische Spiele München 1972,” 1972. Gift of the Organisationkomitee fur die Spiele der XX. Olympiade Munchen 1972. 71.79.4

Shusaku Arakawa, “Olympische Spiele München 1972,” 1972. Gift of the Organisationkomitee fur die Spiele der XX. Olympiade Munchen 1972. 71.79.2.

I share these works with you to honor lives lost 40 years ago in what is now referred to as the Munich Massacre,  as well as commemorate Olympic achievement since then and triumph by not only athletes representing the United States of America, but for all athletes whose hard work, determination and spirit are an inspiration.

This one’s for you.

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