Brian Sanders: Selected Works – magazines, space odysseys and Mad Men

Illustrator Brian Sanders will celebrate his 80th birthday as a new show of his work gets under way at London’s Lever Gallery, featuring images that first appeared in a host of 1960s magazines and even captured Stanley Kubrick on set

Dakota Staton Sings the Blues

Opening on May 12, the Lever Gallery’s ‘Selected Works’ show will feature a range of Sanders’ projects, from his portraits for The Sunday Times Magazine and Nova created in the 1960s and 70s – alongside posters for films such as Oh What A Lovely War and Lady Sings The Blues – through to his recent commission for the sixth TV series of Mad Men in 2011.

Sean Connery as James Bond with his Aston Martin DB3

Sanders’ early work was influenced by a new American method known as the ‘bubble and streak’ style, whereby Liquitex acrylic paints were used to achieve a unique effect. As Bryn Havord describes on his website on Sanders’ work (Havord commissioned him to illustrate articles for Woman’s Mirror in the mid-60s), these materials weren’t initially available in the UK but soon became popular with illustrators who would have them sent over from the the US.

Shown below are a couple examples from one of the most interesting projects Sanders was involved in at that time – working as the on-set illustrator for Stanley Kubrick’s classic science-fiction film of 1965. The artist spent months on set recording the production of 2001: A Space Odyssey, providing a unique glimpse into the director’s notoriously closed-off creative process.

Kubrick looking down over the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey

More recently, Sanders was commissioned to work on a series of illustration for the US TV series, Mad Men after its creator Matthew Weiner came across the illustrator’s work on some TWA flight menus from the 1970s. Sanders was asked to create a poster and the DVD packaging for the series campaign.

Moon Pit, 2001: A Space Odyssey

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

Brian Sanders: Selected Works will be at the Lever Gallery, 153-157 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7HD from May 12 until July 31. See

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