A skull held aloft, a lovesick donkey, a bloodied dagger—these familiar icons are instantly recognizable shorthand for the plays of William Shakespeare. In the four hundred years since his death, the Bard of Avon's exalted place in the pantheon of theater and poetry—indeed, all of Western culture—is unequaled. As Ben Jonson proclaimed, Shakespeare "is not of an age but for all time!"
And just as centuries of theatrical artists have reimagined his works through the lens of their own time and culture, so too have illustrators and designers been inspired to create posters that reinvent Shakespeare's well-known themes for each new generation of theatergoers. Presenting Shakespeare collects 1,100 posters for Shakespeare's plays, designed by an international roster of artists representing 55 countries, from Japan to Colombia, India, Russia, Australia, and beyond. A fascinating trove of theatrical artifacts, Presenting Shakespeare is a necessary volume for theater and design lovers alike.
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Mirko Ilic is the principal of Mirko Ilic Corp. a multidisciplinary studio specializing in graphic design, branding, and illustration. With Milton Glaser, Mirko has taught advanced design classes at the Cooper Union and currently teaches master's degree classes in illustration at the School of Visual Arts.
Steven Heller is the cochair of the SVA MFA Design / Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program. He is the author of many books, including Iron Fists, Paul Rand, Typography Sketchbooks, Scripts, Stencil Type, and Graphic Style Lab. He is the recipient of the 1999 AIGA Medal for Lifetime Achievement and the 2011 Smithsonian Institute National Design Award for "Design Mind."
Ilic and Heller have together authored several books, including Genius Moves: 100 Icons of Graphic Design, Handwritten, and The Anatomy of Design.
"...a great range of examples from all over the world." -Creative Review
"The organization of the book is a stroke of genius..The book is irresistible on many levels, not least for the reading, which includes a preface by Julie Taymor." -Design Arts Daily
"The most striking posters in the book are the brainy minimalists, like the giant gloved and clenched fist in a French production of 'Othello,' or the deliciously morbid meat ice cream cone in an Argentine 'Hamlet.'" -New York Times
"The artists' interpretations of the plays are as varied as the takes of actors and directors who have approached the material over the many decades since they premiered, providing the diverse visual archive that amazes." -Print
"Shakespeare on a skateboard or punkish with tattoos, Romeo i Julia with a heart-shaped bear trap, a Ralph Steadman Macbeth--from delicate to horrifying, these posters are arresting." -Shelf Awareness
"Next year marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death, but his plays live on. How they have managed to put butts in pews all this time is addressed, and generously illustrated, in a gorgeous new coffee table book, Presenting Shakespeare." -Playbill
".with over a thousand posters from 55 countries it offers an opportunity to delve into how different cultures interpret Shakespeare's classic stories of love, tragedy, and twisted identities." -Hyperallergic
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