Martin Sharp - poster artwork, 1968

Original artwork for Cream poster, London, 1968, by Martin Sharp

Original artwork for Cream poster, London, 1968 / by Martin Sharp
© Martin Sharp Estate.

The Library recently acquired Martin Sharp’s original collage and mixed media artwork, which was designed as a poster for the band, Cream, in London, 1968. Sydney-born Martin Sharp (1942-2013) has been at the forefront of art and culture in Australia since the 1960s, and Cream was one of the biggest rock supergroups at the time.

This work reflects artist Martin Sharp's reputation at the time. In London, Sharp was absorbed in the local art, music and pop culture scene, having established the irreverent OZ Magazine and London Oz Magazine with Richard Neville in the 1960s. He produced a range of album covers and posters for music legends including Cream, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan. His trademark use of vivid colour and psychedelic design is a fascinating insight into the era in which he worked.

Back in Sydney, Sharp was instrumental in setting up the Yellow House Artists Collective, 1970-1973, now considered a milestone in Australian contemporary art. Inspired by entertainer Tiny Tim and Sydney’s Arthur Stace (‘Eternity’), he continued to produce vivid artworks and posters, including work for Sydney Festivals, Luna Park, Sydney Opera House, Nimrod Theatre and Circus Oz.

This Cream artwork adds to the Library’s significant and extensive Martin Sharp collections which comprise a near-complete run of his graphic work including lithographic and screen printed posters, as well as his original works, paintings and collages, ca. 1961-2011. The Library has one of the most comprehensive collections of his work in Australia.