Artist: Vic Fair
Format: Original Artwork
Condition: Excellent
Year: 1975


The original Vic Fair painted artwork for the cinema Quad poster for Ken Russell’s “Lisztomania” (1975). Measuring a whopping 30”x 40”, Fair bucked a trend, most other poster artists creating artworks smaller than Quad size (these were subsequently blown up in the printing process). Russell’s off-beat film gave Fair plenty of scope for experimentation & with a series of painted cut-outs pasted onto artboard, Fair creates a colourful tapestry of burlesque delights, the sex, glamour & "rock-star" adulation inherent in the film, coming to the fore (we show also the finished Quad for comparison).


Ken Russell was long known as the “enfant terrible” of Britain’s cinematic firmament. Whether you like his work or not (see "The Music Lovers" 1970, "The Devils" 1971, "Tommy" 1975 etc), Russell created films that made an impact. “Lisztomania” was no exception, Russell, examining the wayward composer genius through the prism of contemporary 20th century rock star mania. To compound the idea, The Who’s Roger Daltrey was drafted in & as someone at the fulcrum of “Beatlemana”, Ringo Starr was also relied upon to be empathetic to the films’ ideals too.


Although not as well known as some of the other poster artist “greats” (Chantrell, Putzu etc), Vic Fair was one of the most prolific & creative cinema poster designers of the 20th century. Fair’s sheer inventiveness meant that he was frequently used to create conceptual poster designs, his ideas then being passed on to the likes of Putzu, Fratini & Bysouth, for them to complete finished illustrations. One such poster design was the James Bond “white tuxedo” poster for “A View To A Kill” (1985), the finished Quad poster being illustrated by Brian Bysouth based on a Vic Fair concept. We show the original Vic Fair artwork rough, image shown courtesy of christie’, who sold this particular piece for £12,500 in 2011.


For an extensive review of Vic Fair's career and more examples of his poster designs, please see Sim Branaghan's excellent book "British Film Posters" (2006).