Size: 25 x 36.5 inches
Artist: Klapcheck, Konrad
The first Davis Cup took place in 1900 and saw USA take on Great Britain, then playing under the name of the British Isles. It was held at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston and the Americans surprised their opponents by racing into an unassailable 3-0 lead.
The idea of Davis Cup was conceived a year earlier by four members of the Harvard University tennis team, who wished to set up a match between USA and Great Britain. Once the two respective national associations had agreed, one of the four players, Dwight Davis, designed a tournament format and ordered a trophy, buying it with his own money.
This poster was created for the 1983 Cup. Printed in Maeght, Paris, it is in excellent condition and mounted on linen.
Born in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1935, Konrad Klapcheck is considered by some to be a member of the hyper-realist or photo-realist movement which took place in twentieth-century Europe (hyperrealism only came to the Americas in the 1970s). His father taught Art History at Kunst Akademie, where Klapcheck would later study painting, and eventually become a professor himself. He took to a realist style early on. "He paints everyday life objects in a simplified, 'strong and precise' manner. He gives a soul, dramatic or ironic intentions to unanimated objects conceived as metaphors of 'the human comedy'." About his work, Klapcheck says: “My main weapons are humor and precision. Only the coldness of precision allows the translation of the fire in the soul, and only humor allows the translation of what we have seen. I must put no limits to my subjectivity in order to obtain objective canvases. All the enigmas and solutions of life are inside oneself.” (http://www.fundacio-stampfli.org/)
His other tennis-related poster, advertising the Roland Garros or French Open tournament, also features interesting perspectival choices, similar to the one found in his Davis Cup '83 design. This is a common design theme in Klapcheck's work, and speaks to his surrealist tendencies to depict "technical equipment, machinery and everyday objects, [as] strangely alienated; they are "monumental, amusingly absurd and sexually suggestive". He was first introduced to Paris' surrealist circle in 1961 by art critic José Pierre. Klapcheck participates in a surrealist exhibition in 1965, just six years after his first solo show.
His fascination in representing everyday objects such as the humble iron, the sowing machine, the typewriter and so on, is clearly influenced by Pop artists and their emphasis on the trivial. However in the later years of his career, Klapcheck has begun dabbling in etching and become interested in representing the human figure, especially the nude. Now a professor at the Kunst Akademie where his father once taught and he once studied, Klapcheck's peers and friends have become the new 'familiar objects' with which the artist works. Klapcheck currently lives in Düsseldorf.