France’s equivalent of Mary Blair is not one, but two artists. Lefor Openo is the pseudonym of French illustrators Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau. They produced lots of great posters and advertising art during the 1950s and 1960s.
1950 Marie-Claire Lefort and Marie-Francine Oppeneau meet in Paris while studying to become Art professor.
1953 They attend during three years the courses of the Paul Colin school. There, they meet poster designers such as Gauthier, Seguin and Desclozeaux.
1955 They win the first price in the "concours Lépine" poster contest. They draw their first posters for "Loterie Nationale".
1956 They start to work with the publisher Marc Dufournet. They will do so until 1959.
1957 New contract with publisher de la Vasselais until 1960.
1958 Poster for a governement loan (Rente Pinay). Then two posters for the referendum. First poster for Electricity of France (EDF), they work regularly for EDF during ten years.
1959 Poster of the movie "Babette s'en va-t-en-guerre" starring Brigitte Bardot. They create dolls inspired by the figures of their posters.
1960 Wedding of Marie-Claire Lefort.
1961 "Gitanes filtre" poster.
1962 Poster for Thermor, maker of electrical domestic equipments.
1965 Two posters for the presidential campaign of general De Gaulle.
1966 They exhibit together paintings rue de Bourgogne in Paris (portraits of stars for Marie-Francine Oppeneau and bunches of flowers for Marie-Claire Lefort).
1967 They move their studio to Saint-Cloud. Lasts advertising posters.
1971 Death of Marie-Claire Lefort.
1980 Marie-Francine Oppeneau opens a naïve art gallery rue Dailly in Saint-Cloud.
1990 Marie-Francine Oppeneau opens a modern art gallery " Lefor-Openo " in Paris.
1994 The exhibition "Le plumeau, la cocotte et le petit robot" à la bibliothèque Forney presents eight posters of Lefor-Openo.
2000 Posters "Singer" and "Colibri Thermor" are presented in a video during the exhibition "Les Bons génies de la vie domestique" in Centre Pompidou (Paris)
2001 Retrospective exhibition in Saint Cloud municipal museum: "Lefor-Openo, deux femmes affichistes des années soixante" organized by S. de Juvigny. Printing of 400 catalogues of the exhibition.
2004 Creation of the website "Lefor-Openo".
2005 Clouet editions reprint 6 posters and a 2006 calendar.