Charles Kiffer, French (1902 - 1992)

Charles Kiffer

Kiffer's mother taught piano and his father, a tailor, working for many comedians. Exposed early in the artistic world, Kiffer began to draw and paint caricatures of actors.

From 1918, he attended the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He designed in 1923 for his own pleasure, the portrait of Maurice Chevalier, who later entrusted him with the realization of posters of his shows following in 1926 and 1927. This became the poster of Chevalier and he was commissioned for thirteen more posters until 1963.

Charles Kiffer, fascinated also by printing processes, he produced own lithographs from 1929's , sometimes in collaboration with various Parisian workshops. He illustrated many of the posters for stars like George Gu├ętary (1933), Charles Trenet, Edith Piaf (1936), Yves Montand, Rina Ketti, Gaby Morley in 1939. He also designed in the fields of dance, theater and circus, big names like Josephine Baker, Brigitte Bardot, Mistinguett, and the clown Alex Porto.

During the Second World War he was engaged in the Rouen region, where he designed and painted camouflage the French aircraft. After the war he returned to show business. In 1949, Kiffer was the radio host Zappy Max and later artists Gilbert Becaud, Annie Cordy, the Compagnons de la Chanson ... From 1955, he made a dozen posters for the mime Marcel Marceau.

Kiffer also created many decorations and stage curtains for the Casino de Paris. Over sixty-five years after his first poster, Kiffer was still working in his studio on the Ile Saint-Louis in Paris where he liked to entertain friends and contemporary artists.

Centre de Toulouse Poster did a tribute in 1990, his last exhibition of posters.

Charles Kiffer died at his Paris home Monday, January 20, 1992.

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