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Chelsea Girls
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Chelsea Girls

Chelsea Girls
1966, British -- 30x20in. (76x51cm.), linen-backed, (A), unfolded, archivally framed
Art by Alan Aldridge
T. Nourmand & G. Marsh Op. cit, 2005, p.39 (illus.)
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Lot Essay

This poster for Chelsea Girls is dated 1970 and was designed and printed specifically for a special screening at the Arts Laboratory, 182 Drury Lane, London.

The award-winning Alan Aldridge (b.1937) was one of the most famous and important graphic designers of the 1960s. A self-taught artist who left school aged 15, he developed a distinctive, rich style that quickly found favour with the London set. His work, reflecting the psychedelic and experimental spirit of the age, was admired and embraced by bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and Pink Floyd, for whom he designed various album covers. His artwork for Don't Look Back perfectly illustrates his unique and highly effective style. In 1963 he was hired by Penguin Books as the Art Director of their fiction list. In this role Aldridge was instrumental in re-vamping the publisher's image by abandoning its traditional typographical cover designs in favour of bold and bright graphics.
With such talent, and as a friend of Andy Warhol, Aldridge was an obvious choice as designer for the British poster for Warhol's film Chelsea Girls, and this remains one of his most famous works. Although the image won a Silver Award from The Design and Art Director's Club, the censors remained unimpressed and the fly-posting of the poster across London led to Aldridge's prosecution.
Chelsea Girls was one of the first 'underground' films to break into mainstream cinema and although banned in Boston and Chicago, it was a critical success in London, New York and San Francisco.


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