Posters from the 60s & 70s by Bryan Biggs

This selection of posters from our archive focuses on the late-1960s to the mid-1970s. With limited budgets and printing a comparatively expensive process then, most publicity was in black and white, as reflected here, with just one poster including a second colour. The selection indicates some of the experimental art being presented at this time by Bluecoat, alongside more traditional painting and sculpture.  

Yoko Ono performance, 1967

A practically unknown Ono performed to a packed and enthusiastic audience in the Concert Hall upstairs, the event promoted by Liverpool Art College lecturer Dave Clapham. Some of the evening was captured for a regional TV feature. The poster image is from Ono’s event at the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream happening in London earlier that year.

See this poster here.

Hanging Works of Art, 1972 

This exhibition of wall hangings in fabric and other material included two artists who would achieve a national profile, Paul Neagu and Noel Forster. It was Pamela Holt however who contributed significantly to the gallery, curating The Liverpool Nude (1978), with its feminist themes. The poster here employs an already outdated ‘psychedelic’ lettering.

See this poster here.

Concept of Multiples, 1972 

With editioned art becoming popular, this selection from Alecto International brought together small-scale affordable works by UK and international artists including David Hockney, Claes Oldenburg, Eduardo Paolozzi and Liliane Lijn. The poster’s egg-box image and bold sans-serif typeface are typical of this period’s conceptual art aesthetic and a nod to Duchamp’s readymades.

See this poster here.

Derek Boshier, Documentation and Work 1959-72, 1973 

This show by UK Pop artist Boshier reflected on his career to date, through photographs and other documentation, as well as original works. He returned to Bluecoat in 1983 with a retrospective exhibition of drawings. The assemblage style of the poster here, with its density of images, make it an artwork in its own right. 

See this poster here.

Dave Saunders, Serial Works 1968-73, 1974 

Saunders taught at the Art School, which by then had been absorbed into Liverpool Polytechnic. As a member of the radical Systems Group of artists, his work drew on mathematics and echoed some of the concerns of minimalist and conceptual art prevalent at this time. The poster is a graphic representation of his geometric paintings.  

See this poster here.

You can explore the Bluecoat Posters collection here. If you find one you especially like tell us on Twitter for a chance for it to be featured in our next Newsletter.