The newly established Lever Gallery which opened at the end of last year is currently exhibiting a selection of illustrations that encapsulate the exuberance and consumerism of the post war period.

The show brings together a collection of work by British and International artists who were drawn to London’s growing publishing and media scene at that time. Collectively the work sums up the style and optimism that we associate with the ‘Swinging Sixies’. Rendered in bold colours, these images feature handsome young men and beautiful young women wearing fashionable clothes, their glamorous and carefree expressions refelct the rebellious vibe of the 1960s.

White and Black Dress by Michael Johnson

White and Black Dress by Michael Johnson

 A vast number of the illustrations on display were commissioned to accompany text or as book jackets so there is a great mix of different mediums and scales across the exhibition. Fans of the early James Bond films, the vibrant style of American Pop Art and of AMC’s Mad Men will particularly enjoy this exhibition which boasts around 50 original works by artists including Gianetto Coppola, Gino D’Achille, Pino Dell’Orco, Renato Fratini, Giorgio di Gaspari, Michael Johnson, Ian Roberston, Nicola Simbari, Walter Wyles and Harry Zelinski. This group of artists and draftsmen deserve recognition for their pioneering contributions to mass media and marketing as well as their ability to effectively capture the feeling of the era and its changing social trends. 

Woman, Bullseye, Cities by Michael Johnson

Woman, Bullseye, Cities by Michael Johnson

The gallery itself is a commercial exhibition and work space on the fringe of the City of London which was designed by RIBA award winning architect Pascal Madoc-Jones. Founder-owners Didier Madoc-Jones and Robert Graves highlight the importance of recognising and celebrating British lifestyle illustration from this period in its own right. The diversity and quality of the work selected for this current exhibition must be appreciated up close. This show is a must see, so make your escape from the grey streets of London and step into the colourful and dynamic space which is Lever Gallery.

The gallery’s opening exhibition Smoking Guns Illustrating the Sixties runs until the 28th January. Their next exhibition will be Draw Me Close which opens on Feburary 6th.


LEVER GALLERY
153-157 Goswell Road, LONDON, EC1V 7HD
Monday to Saturday 10.00 - 16.00 hrs

- Written by Faith Clark