Silkscreen printed in glorious day-glo orange and mauve, this rare half-grande poster for the French release of art-house icon Agnès Varda’s Lions Love packs a serious punch. Regarded as the mother of the French New Wave, the prolific Varda shot her Warhol-esque meditation on late-60s American counterculture in sun-soaked Los Angeles during a three-year Californian soujourn with husband Jacques Demy. The docu-fictional film starred Warhol Factory favourite Viva playing a fictionalised version of herself as she drifts into a ménage à trois with James Rado and Gerome Ragni, lyricists and stars of the rock musical Hair, at a luxe Hollywood Hills rental home. Drowsily lazing around in a sensual haze of free love and apathetic ennui, musing on love, stardom and politics, the androgynous trio are joined by director Shirley Clarke, playing both herself and Varda’s onscreen proxy, newly arrived to make an underground film with Viva as the star. An encapsulation of the last rumblings of the Summer of Love as the hippy dream turned sour, the film featured news coverage of the assassination of Robert Kennedy and the shooting of Andy Warhol, tethering Lions Love to the chaotic social and political backdrop of late-sixties America. On its original release, the New York Times called it a beautiful, cockeyed movie which effortlessly captured the banal beauty of Los Angeles. Like the film, this superb French poster captures the colour and hedonistic spirit of 1960s Hollywood, offering a portrait of frizzy-haired free-living liberation against a star-studded sunset. An example of this poster is held in the Margaret Herrick Library, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Conservation backed on linen with no restoration. One vertical and three horizontal folds as issued with deep creasing to fold lines due to thick silkscreen inks on thick stock, which cannot be entirely smoothed by backing. Spots of surface loss and ink transfer to fold lines. Nicks and creases to corners and edges have been smoothed by backing. Some creases and fine ink cracks to image in places. Darkening and spots of staining to edges, with a few small spot stains to white ground in upper portion. Colours vibrant.