In (art) posters: the French Open

In 1980, the French Tennis Federation and the French Open Tournament Committee partnered with Galerie Lelong & Co. to begin an art tradition that the world has grown to love : commissioning contemporary artists to design the official annual poster! Each year an artist creates a piece reflecting the history, excitement, internationalism and spirit of sportsmanship that is the hallmark of the Roland Garros tournament.

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By now, a host of renowned artists have contributed to the posters. Among them are : Joan Miró, one of the most influential artists of the 20th century; Nalini Malani – the Karachi born Indian artist & also the first Asian to have created a poster for the tournament; Du Zhenjun, known for his pioneering work in digital and new media became the first Chinese artist to create a poster for the tournament.

We found these posters an excellent way to see, appreciate and learn about different visual mediums and the effect they have on a viewer. In understanding an artist’s practice, we learn about the world they grew up in, and were shaped by.

So let us dive right in to see a selection of 10 posters from the Parisian Grand Slam that we really love! 

The iconic red-clay court, the tennis ball, racquet, the umpire, crowds and even players’ hair has served as inspiration for artists who have created these posters that are no less than a cultural symbol. Take a look! 

The copyright for all images is co-owned by the artist, Galerie Lelong & the French Tennis Federation

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