Max, Peter: TIN LIZZIE RESTAURANT / A RESTAURANT DESIGNED BY PETER MAX [poster title]. New York: Peter Max Enterprises, [1967].

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Peter Max

Peter Max: TIN LIZZIE RESTAURANT [poster title]. New York: Peter Max Enterprises, [1967]. Original impression. 25 x 37 - inch [63.5 x 93.98 cm] trim size image printed via offset lithography on a medium matte sheet. This is the original impression printed without a full bleed on a heavier, uncoated sheet. Faint wear to top edge, but a nearly fine, fresh example.

25 x 37 - inch [63.5 x 93.98 cm]poster designed by Peter Max, full title Dick Sheresky & Shelly Fireman’s Tin Lizzie Restaurant / A Restaurant Designed by Peter Max.

From: Peter Max: Mastering The Color Explosion By Don McNeill, The Village Voice,  August 31, 1967, Vol. XII, No. 46

“The poster boom is in full swing. Riding the crest of the psychedelic market, a million posters a month move from the press to the public. In San Francisco, the Avalon and the Fillmore ballrooms make their money not on the music but on the output of artists like Mouse and Wes Wilson whose appeal goes far beyond advertising. Shops with stock taped to the walls are opening in every major city, and sales are still rising.

“Peter Max anticipated the boom. Three years ago, he gave up a highly successful design studio to isolate himself in a world of graphic explosions and cosmic visions.

“He explored memory, fantasy, time, and space in the confines of a studio and emerged with over 4000 designs, a store which he now taps to produce an assortment of posters, plates, stationery, matchbooks, placemats, pocketbooks, and buttons. Each product has its own company, all flourishing under the umbrella of Peter Max Enterprises.

“His commercial success is indisputable. Close to a quarter million Peter Max posters have been sold since they appeared on the market nine weeks ago. His products are shown and sold in head shops, boutiques, department stores, and shopping centers. He has even designed a restaurant, called the Tin Lizzie. With impeccable taste and an intuitive sense of what will sell, Peter Max is making it.

“He began his career as a commercial artist, and as he has progressed he has become more commercial and more of an artist. Some of his finest work is still in advertising, a field that has influenced Max tot he extent that his wordless posters seem to advertise acid like Alka-Seltzer. His commercial work is a special relief on the walls and in the windows o the city. There, where the medium is a message, his posters are like flowers in an otherwise drab field. In a poster for the musical "The Coach With the Six Insides," a monumental mandala floats like an oversized sun in a checkerboard sky above a futuristic profile of New York. In a series of posters for the Integral Yoga Institute, of which Max is president, a benign Swami Satchidananda smiles a the viewer. The text below the portrait seems only an afterthought.

“His decorative posters show Max to be a visionary fascinated by time, space, and evolution. A psychedelic skyline prophesizes the day when skyscrapers may be temples, when the Rockefeller Center's Rainbow Room may be used for meditation. The ancient and the modern mesh in a Captain Marvel mandala. Vintage motion picture stills stand as islands in seas of swirling color. His posters seem familiar and inviting, but the prominent logo leaves no doubt as to whose vision is hanging on your wall.

“His visions are personal, and although Peter Max has had a traditional art education, his primary influence is his own life. His parents fled from Germany shortly after his birth in 1939, and moved to China where they lived for 10 years in a pagoda in Shanghai. There his father amassed a fortune as an industrialist. In 1949, he and his family went to Tibet for a year, to live in an old palace that had been converted into a hotel. He explored the temples nearby and played with the children of a maharaja -- the only other guest. His impressions of Tibet are still strong today, and show clearly in much of his work.

“When they returned to Shanghai, the Communists were coming into power, and the family was forced to flee again, now by sea around Africa to Israel. They lived in Haifa for three years, where Peter Max first studied art with an Austrian who lived on Mount Carmel. At the age of 13, he also began to study astronomy at the University of Haifa. This, too, would be a strong influence on his later work. "I always wanted to be an astronomer," Max recalls. "The galaxies, the cosmos, the light years -- all those abstract distances and time spans fascinated me."

“But he had always dreamed of the skyscrapers, and in 1953 came to New York. He studied at the Art Student's League for five years, and in 1962 opened his design studio that was to win 62 awards.

“The final influence was spiritual. Peter Max was impressed by psychedelic drugs. "They bring peace to the nervous system," he said, "so you can receive all the transmissions of the cosmos." As he continued along this path, he felt it necessary to find a guru. "This led me to Paris," he said, "where I found Swami Satchidananda. We spoke for many nights and I told him about the youth and about psychedelics. I told him that millions of people would be having profound spiritual experiences and they would need help." He persuaded the Swami to come to New York, where now they work together at the Integral Yoga Institute.

“He next plans to work on a film and a ballroom, but always with an eye on the youth. Asked about hippies he said, "These titles -- like hippy -- are the foam of a tremendous wave that is just beginning to lift."

Peter Max (German/American 1937 - ) was born in Berlin in 1937 but his family moved to China when he was still very young. In fact the young Max would move frequently with his family, learning about a variety of cultures throughout the world while traveling from Tibet to Africa to Israel to Europe until his family moved to the U.S. In American Max was trained at the Art Students League, Pratt Institute, and the School of Visual Arts, all in New York. After closing his design studio in 1964, Peter began creating his characteristic paintings and graphic prints.

From visionary pop artist of the 1960's, to master of dynamic neo Expressionism, Peter Max and his vibrant colors have become part of the fabric of contemporary American culture. In the 1960's Max rose to youthful prominence with his now-famous "Cosmic '60s" style, a bold linear type of painting which employed  Fauvist use of color and depicted transcendental themes. Peter Max revolutionized art of the 60’s just as the Beatles transformed the music of the decade. As his expressionistic style evolved, becoming more sensuous and painterly, Max’s unique symbolism and vibrant color palette have continued to inspire new generations of Americans throughout the decades. Peter Max is a passionate environmentalist and defender of human and animal rights, often dedicating paintings and posters for these noteworthy causes. He has celebrated our nation's principles of freedom and democracy with his famous paintings of American icons of freedom including Lady Liberty and the American Flag.

Peter Max has received many important commissions including the creation of the first "Preserve the Environment" Postage Stamp commemorating the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington; 235 Border Murals at entry points to Canada and Mexico commissioned by the U.S. General Services; and a painting of each of the 50 states, resulting in a book, "Peter Max Paints America" in celebration of the Bicentennial. In 1981 he was invited by President and Mrs. Reagan to paint six Liberty portraits at the White House. Max has painted for five U.S. Presidents - Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. Max has exhibited in over 40 international museums and over 50 galleries, worldwide. His work can be found in many prominent museum and private collections around the world.

In 1981 he painted six liberty portraits for the America President and Mrs. Reagan, and in 1993, his famous ‘100 Clintons’ installation. Max has painted for five American presidents; Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.

Max has had approximately forty museum shows internationally, and more than fifty gallery shows worldwide. His works appear in the prominent collections of many museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.