Brian Sanders: Selected Works - From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Mad Men - UPCOMING EXHIBITION

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 Craig Grobler 0 Comments

The Establishing Shot says visit the upcoming Brian Sanders: Selected Works - From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Mad Men ExhibitionI have only recently become familiar with British illustrator Brian Sanders' incredible body of outstanding work. It was actually through his artwork featured in Taschen's spellbinding book The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s '2001: A Space Odyssey' that I first became aware of Sanders.

     Stanley Kubrick banned photographers from the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey and wasn't keen on visitors - but he invited Brian Sanders onto the set to capture the making of 2001 through his art, anyway he wished. Quite a commendation of the man's talent.

Brian Sanders Moonpit 1, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Moonpit 1, 2001: A Space Odyssey [+]
     His name came up again whilst on a project in which I delved into the Science Fiction and Fantasy artists and illustrators of Great Britain, many of them sadly forgotten despite their incredible conceptual abilities and their skill to help us visualise fantastic imagery.

     Whenever I pop by Taschen's London store I take a moment to admire Sanders2001 pieces on display in their Downstairs Gallery, along with many other gorgeous pieces and books.

     Sanders was most recently responsible for that great piece of Mad Men promo art, that has stuck in my mind. He is a truly incredible talent so I'm quite chuffed that Brian Sanders and his work will be featured (for the first time) in an exhibition running from May through to July, here in London at the Lever Gallery and some outstanding pieces of his work can be viewed first hand.

   BRIAN SANDERS: SELECTED WORKS From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Mad Men

Lever Gallery is delighted to present the first exhibition dedicated to the work of pioneering British illustrator Brian Sanders.

A veteran of the golden age of magazine illustration and the co-founder of the Association of Illustrators, Sanders’ solo exhibition will include his trailblazing portraits for magazines such as The Sunday Times and Nova Magazine during the 1960s, his unprecedented illustration work on 2001: A Space Odyssey with Stanley Kubrick up to his 2011 work commissioned by Matthew Weiner for series six of AMC’s Mad Men. Chronicling Sanders’ long and successful career, the exhibition will include previously unseen and unpublished artwork.

Brian Sanders Sean Connery DB3
Sean Connery, DB3 [+]

Brian Sanders rose to prominence in 1960s London, when magazine illustration was booming. The work was experimental and reflected the excitement of the ‘Swinging Sixties’, mirroring the fashion and music of this defining era. The medium was new, the compositions were off-kilter and the colours were brighter, sharper and more striking. American illustrators had a huge influence on the style and work of their English counterparts, with the US artists using acrylic paint to create what was referred to as the ‘bubble and streak’ effect, initially developed by US masters such as Bernie Fuchs.

Brian Sanders Kubrick looking through Panavision, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Kubrick looking through Panavision, 2001: A Space Odyssey [+]

Notable work from this period that will be exhibited in the Lever Gallery exhibition includes Ho Chi Min, commissioned for the cover of The Sunday Times Magazine, 1970s tennis star Roger Taylor also for The Sunday Times, plus Sanders’ illustrations of Le Mans and his portrait of Sean Connery’s Bond set against Sanders’ own Aston Martin DB3. A series of portraits for influential Nova Magazine featuring famous figures and their foibles includes Warren Beatty, Noel Coward, Richard Nixon and Tony Benn.

Brian Sanders Warren Beatty, Nova - Noel Coward, Nova
Warren Beatty, Nova - Noel Coward, Nova [+]

In 1965, Sanders was commissioned by Stanley Kubrick to spend months on set with unfettered access during the making of 2001: A Space Odyssey to illustrate the film sets and scenes of Kubrick and his crew in production. Sanders would draw on the set two days per week and work on larger paintings in his studio. This was a rare occurrence, as Kubrick often worked with a closed set, and was the only person allowed to take photos on set. Much of this work by Sanders remained unpublished for decades.

When Mad Men series creator Matthew Weiner, inspired by the painterly illustrations of the 1970s TWA flight menus, wanted a nostalgic image to promote the sixth season of the acclaimed series, he turned to Brian Sanders to produce an illustration for the series six poster and DVD packaging. This captivating illustration was emblazoned across buses and billboards and propelled Sanders’ name back into the limelight in 2011.

Brian Sanders  Mad Men Season 6 Promo Art
Brian Sanders & Mad Men Season 6 Promo Art [+]

The London exhibition will focus on four areas of Brian Sanders’ archive; Bubble and Streak: 1960s Illustration and Bubble and Streak: Revisited (Mad Men), NOVA Portraits and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Brian Sanders: Selected Works runs from 12 May until 31 July 2017. Sanders will celebrate his 80th birthday on 6 June. The Lever Gallery exhibition dedicated to Sanders’ coincides with Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction at the Barbican Centre from 2 June – 1 September which will include an outdoor screening of 2001: A Space Odyssey.

[+] All images courtesy of Brian Sanders

Brian Sanders: Selected Works - From 2001: A Space Odyssey to Mad Men

12 May – 31 July 2017
Tuesday - Saturday 10 - 5pm

Lever Gallery,
153 -157 Goswell Road,
London, EC1V 7HD

For more information head over to: