Antonius (Antoon) Kurvers
Dutch, 1889 - 1940
Van Leer, publisher (Amsterdam)
Tentoonstelling van Nederlandsche Gemeentewerken (Exhibition of Dutch Municipal Works), 1926

image:   H. 38 x W. 31 in.
sheet:   H. 41 1/4 x W. 33 5/8 in.

Little has surfaced on the work of Antoon Kurvers to date. He was both a lithographer and painter, which is quite evident in this distinctive poster. Active in The Hague until 1908, then in Haarlem until 1918, and subsequently in Amsterdam, he was a contemporary of Theodor Wijdeveld and worked closely with him in designing covers for Wijdeveld’s magazine Wendingen. As to who was influencing the other is open to debate; it is especially interesting to compare this poster with some of Wijdeveld’s pioneering work.

The visual effect of this poster, particularly its painterly quality, provides a rich surface for the distinctive lettering. The contours of the primary form and layering of elements suggest a plaque or movie marquee, and the manner in which the printer’s credit line curls around the contour suggests that Kuvers was aware of every minute detail. The subtle block-like pattern of the background and the fuzzy-edge printing combine to provide a rich, painterly surface. Limiting the poster to one printing ink is unusual for its time, but the distinctive red coloring (suggestive of bricks or brick facade?) with the natural papertone provide a perfect complement. The poster announces an exhibition of Dutch municipal works in Utrecht.