Ib Antoni (1929-1973) was one of the most sought after Danish visual artists of his time. His desirable and significant work was commissioned by more than 150 companies and organizations worldwide. Including LIFE Magazine, J. Walther Thomsen, Young & Rubicam, ESSO, Heinz, Dunlop, Carlsberg, Volvo, UNICEF, Philips, Fortune, Neiman-Marcus, The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and many more. His impressive body of work culminated in the era often referred to as Danish Modern.
Not only was Antoni´s drawing style defining his time, but the work he created became a symbol of his native country, Denmark.
Ib Antoni was born in Esbjerg in 1929 and grew up in Denmarks second largest city, Aarhus, where he trained as an illustrator at the ad agency Buchtrup, Harlang & Toksvig. His career took of in Copenhagen, where he became one of his times great “Mad Men”, as a Art Director on some of the largest ad campaign at time. Campaigns which propelled his his iconic and positive drawing style all over the world.
Ib Antoni originally wanted to become an architect, but the financial situation in the his childhood home did not allow this, despite his obvious talent. In the 1960’s and 1970’s he rekindled this passion of giving form to other materials that poster illustrations. Ib Antoni designed textiles, children books, porcelain for Royal Copenhagen and not least the TIvoli-pendant lamp which was reintroduced by Le klint in 2017.
Ib Antoni died in the tragic arsonist fire at Hotel Hafnia in 1973 only 44 years old.
A treasure of classic design
Ib Antoni left the world a vast cultural treasure of over 300 retroposters, designs and motives, which Antoni Legacy is now bringing back to life. Ib Antoni’s vintage designs perfectly complement the famous danish design furniture classics made by other world renowed designer such as Hans Wegner, Arne Jakobsen, Kai Kristiansen, Arne Vodder who was also active in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
The greatest in his field
Deputy manager, Copenhagen tourist association, Robert Bachmann:
We will miss Ib Antoni and his enchanting creativity. His diversity, profundity and thoughtfullness which became a part of our work. We will never forget Ib Antoni.
He was the best at making Circus posters.
Circus posters was a field of its own. Director Claus Jespersen, “Circus Benneweis”:
– Ib Antoni made at least a hundred pre-studies for a single poster. He was never content until, the result was sublime, and it was – every time. His memory of a warm and creative artist lives on in his works. He was the greatest in his field.
His memory lives on in his art
Quotes from “Se & Hør” magazine by journalist, Mugge, September 1973.
“Ib Antoni – world famous victim of the Hafnia arsonist fire.”
”He was part of making “Wonderful Copenhagen” famous abroad.”
“But he died in a horrific disaster, in the heart of the city, which owes him a great debt of gratitude – Only a few hundred meters from the townhall, which he drew with his enchanting lines.”
Prices and Awards
- Member of Society of Illustrators i New York, 1961
1. Price, poster competition, Toronto, 1964 and 1965
2. price in international tourist poster competition, Los Angeles 1965
Diploma for excellent work, Tokyo 1966
Assigned the ENIT Cup for the posters series made for The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Wonderful Copenhagen), Milano 1966
Diploma 2nd international poster Bienale
Warshawa 1968 and (post mortem) 1974
Young & Rubicam, New York 1957
J. Walter Thomson, New York 1958
Konstfackskolan, Stockholm 1964
Danish Pavillon, World Fair 1964
Neiman-Marcus, Dallas 1965
Southern Methodist University, Dallas 1965
Prad, Amsterdam 1965
Bella Center, Copenhagen 1967
Heal´s, London 1968
Illum/CG, Copenhagen 1969
Unika Væv, Copenhagen 1970
(post mortem) The Danish Poster Museum, Aarhus 1995