MÊB 'r '*«- André Francois was born in Rumania in 1915 but came to France while still very young. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts before working for a time in Cassandre's studio. His name first appeared under drawings in which a striking brand of humour gradually took on defini tion. His artistic training equipped him to essay and to leave his mark on all genresbook illustration, stage settings, advertising, children's picture books. The French press has acclaimed his stage decorations for the Roland Petit Ballets, American critics have chosen his book Le Crocodile as the best children's book for 1956. Big French, English, Italian and American companies have turned to him for their advertising. Editor André Francois wurde 1915 in Rumanien geboren und kam schon sehr jung nach Frankreich, wo er zuerst die Ecole des Beaux-Arts besuchte und nachher bei Cassandre arbeitete. Erlebt in Grisy-les-Platres. Sein Name erschien zuerst unter humoristischen Zeichnungen; seine Ausbildung als Maler gestattet ihm, an jede Aufgabe heranzutretenBuchillustration, Deko- ration, Werbung, Kinderbuch. In der französischen Presse fanden seine Bühnendekorationen fur die Ballets Roland Petit grossen Anklang; die amerikanische Kritik zeichnete sein Krokodil als das beste Kinderbuch des Jahres 1956 aus; bedeutende französische, englische, italienische und amerikanische Firmen betrauen ihn mit ihrer Werbung. Redaktion André Francois est né en 1915 en Roumanie. II vint en France trés jeune, y travailla d'abord a VEcole des Beaux-Arts, puis a l'atelier de Cassandre. II s'est installé dans un petit village de l'Ile de France, Grisy- les-Platres. Son nom apparut d'abord au bas de dessins humoristiques. Sa formation de peintre lui a permis d'aborder tous les genres en imprimant a chacun la marque de son tempérament: illustration de livres, décors, publicité, etc. La presse frangaise a salué ses décors pour les Ballets de Roland Petit, les critiques américains ont proclamé son livre Le Crocodile le MeilleurLivrepourenfantsde 1956. Les grandes firmesfran£aises,anglaises, italiennes, américaines ont fait appel a lui pour leur publicité. Rédaction 1 Claude Roy: [Deutschcr Text: Seite 102] [Texte francais: page 107] 2 Emmanuel Kant, Napoleon Bonaparte and André Francois have one thing i commonthey all define the essence of their art as surprise. Humour, whethe pure or applied to the ends of advertising, conforms to Kant's analysis of the comil 'the sudden reduction to naught of high-pitched expectations'. Battles and jokes (not to mention clients) can be carried off in the same way: b striking the adversary where and when he least expects it. The enemy can be route and the spectator dissolved in laughter with the same recipedivide his forces, distrai, his attention, then attack like lightning at the point where he has relaxed his defence There are of course other methodsa victory can be won by sheer force of number by brute strength and cumulative onsets. André Francois, like Napoleon, prefe the skill of the surprise attack, the subtlety of the unforeseen. He relishes a victo: only when it is gained by the ingenious exercise of wit. The pleasure is not in crushin one's opponent, but in catching him on the wrong foot. To take an example: he draws us a military figure adorned with a gallery of medal At first glance we smile at the martial moustache, the haughty monocle, the inflate, chest. A smile always weakens the smiler: he lets himself go a little, stands at eas drops his guard. It is at this point that André Francois makes his decisive thrus Our second glance reveals, in fact, that every medal on that heroic breast bears, - on a keyboard, one of the letters of the name Olivetti. This famous firm of typewrit manufacturers has thus been smuggled into the focus of our attention in a sort j Trojan horse of humour. But the cycle is not yet complete. For hardly have V deciphered the name on the tunic when we are intrigued by a new problem: wh is the meaning of these typewriter keys bearing the signs and the numbers 1 o and o and the percentage symbol We concentrate... and it dawns on us: ci

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