December 2, 2010 / 10:33 AM / 7 years ago

Montreux plumps for abstract 2011 festival poster

ZURICH (Reuters) - The Montreux Jazz Festival has broken with tradition to mark its 45th anniversary by choosing an abstract design from local artist Francis Baudevin for the 2011 edition of its highly collectible poster.

<p>Swiss-French artist Francis Baudevin poses in front of the poster he designed for the upcoming Montreux Jazz Festival during a presentation in Lausanne November 26, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>

The Montreux Jazz Festival on July 1-16, 2011 will seek to add to the success of the 2010 festival, which featured diverse stars from the worlds of pop, rock and jazz like Roxy Music, Youssou N‘Dour and Diana Krall.

Baudevin’s geometric design featuring circles cut out of four colored squares at a 45-degree angle against a blue background is only the second abstract poster motif in the festival’s long history.

It is reminiscent of the holes in a Swiss Emmental cheese or round vinyl records set against their quadratic sleeves.

“Records have a permanent place in my life. I wake up with records, I use them constantly, I have a lot of records,” Baudevin told Reuters.

<p>Swiss-French artist Francis Baudevin poses with the poster he designed for the upcoming Montreux Jazz Festival during a presentation in Lausanne November 26, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>

Brazilian Romero Britto made last year’s more usual representational offering of a boy playing guitar and his dog sat on a drum. Rock stars like Phil Collins and David Bowie have also contributed designs over the decades to the posters, which are prized by collectors around the world.

Before embarking on the project, Baudevin studied posters from Montreux’s past such as the collaboration between pop and graffiti artists Andy Warhol and Keith Haring in 1986 and the 2006 guitarist design by Julian Opie, best known for the cover art on Britpop band Blur’s greatest hits album.

<p>Swiss-French artist Francis Baudevin poses in front of the poster he designed for the upcoming Montreux Jazz Festival during a presentation in Lausanne November 26, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>

Above all Baudevin’s picture plays on the motif of the festival’s only previous abstract poster, designed by fellow Swiss Max Bill in 1991.

Baudevin, who trained as a graphic artist and who lectures on the interaction of music and visual art in Lausanne told Reuters his first submission was rejected.

Then he found inspiration in the rhythmic repetition of music and the abstract musical notation of experimental U.S. musician and composer Anthony Braxton.

“When I received this negative response, I was working on a painting in my studio with three dots on a square and I thought I could use the same pattern for the poster using repetition and the four squares of Max Bill,” Baudevin said.

Editing by Paul Casciato

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