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“We were excited by the very idea that we could use anything in the visual history of humankind as influence,” Mr. Glaser, who designed more than 400 posters over the course of his career, said in an interview for the book “The Push Pin Graphic: A Quarter Century of Innovative Design and Illustration” (2004). “Art Nouveau, Chinese wash drawing, German woodcuts, American primitive paintings, the Viennese secession and cartoons of the ’30s were an endless source of inspiration,” he added. “All the things that the doctrine of orthodox modernism seemed to have contempt for — ornamentation, narrative illustration, visual ambiguity — attracted us.”
Mr. Glaser delighted in combining visual elements and stylistic motifs from far-flung sources. For a 1968 ad for Olivetti, he modified a 15th-century painting by Piero di Cosimo showing a mourning dog and inserted the Italian company’s latest portable typewriter at the feet of the dead nymph in the original artwork.
For the Dylan poster, a promotional piece included in the 1967 album “Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits,” he created a simple outline of the singer’s head, based on a black-and-white self-portrait silhouette by Marcel Duchamp, and added thick, wavy bands of color for the hair, forms he imported from Islamic art.