ART REVIEW: Alphonse Mucha @ The Hyde Collection [Get Visual]
By David Brickman
If you were ever in a dorm room in the 1970s, you know the artwork of Alphonse Mucha. The master of French Art Nouveau was a staple of the softer side of the counterculture, partly due to his irresistible, sensual style and partly due to his having been the creator of turn-of-the-century ads for Job cigarette papers, which remained the brand of choice for those rolling joints while listening to psychedelic music some 75 years later.
The show currently on a tour stop at The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls through Sunday, March 18, aptly titled Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau, amply demonstrates that you need neither be stoned nor under the influence of a pop culture trend to be dazzled by the work of this brilliantly skilled commercial artist, whose style is both perfectly emblematic of the movement he represents and strikingly distinctive as his individual mode of expression.
The show is drawn from California’s extensive private Dhawan Collection of Mucha’s art, comprised mainly of lithographic posters that advertised products and events, and augmented by a handful of original drawings, one oil on canvas, numerous illustrated books, and a few other objects, such as a perfume bottle and early Czech currency that Mucha designed. With 70 pieces in all, it is an impressive enough display that my friends who had recently visited the Mucha museum in Prague were suitably gratified by our trip to The Hyde.