Designers who need a day away from the desk and a little inspiration should appreciate this. Actually it’s a great exhibit anybody would enjoy. Organized by Cooper-Hewitt, the National Design Museum and the Walker Art Center, Graphic Design–Now In Production features work from many different industries and illustrates the many different uses of graphic design.
Several artists work really captured my attention. For example Christophe Szpajdel, who designs logos for black and death metal bands. These logos are usually known for their intricate designs including the band name which are almost illegible. (At least to the general public) Szpajdels work however is just as unusual, intricate and expressive but also easily readable.
Anthony Burrill has a collection on display that is also very interesting. The subject of his woodblock posters is the contemporary culture of the authoritative message. Large-scale letterforms spell out messages that are intended to either uplift or warn the reader. The most unique was “Oil & Water Do Not Mix.” It is printed with silkscreen ink made from the oil spilled in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico environmental disaster.
M/M (Paris) is a art and design partnership between Mathias Augustyniak and Michael Amzalag started in 1992. Their work combines hand-drawn and geometrically constructed letterforms with original and sampled imagery. They explore graphic design as both art and communication. M/M (Paris) points out “[Graphic design] has neither a target group, nor fixed points of distribution as do art and cinema. We have…the opportunity of utilizing the various communication networks simultaneously, the very specialized ones, as well as those of the general public.” Pictured below is “No Ghost Just a Shell.”
One piece on display that was truly unique and definitely unexpected was Eric Ku’s “Chair/Chair.” It is a chair that is made from pieces that when taken apart actually spell out the word chair. It was inspired by the famous artist Joseph Kosuth’s “One and Three Chair.” Below is the chair on display, then a picture of the chair disassembled.
Truth is this could go on for a long time highlighting the many different pieces on display but I suggest going yourself. The exhibit is an ongoing event for the duration of the summer 2012 season, ending September 3. For more information or to register for special events such as workshops and panel discussions visit the Cooper Hewitt website.
Governors Island is open to the public every weekend and holiday Mondays during the summer. There are also many other exciting art exhibits and activities to partake in on the island. Several free ferries run all day from Manhattan and Brooklyn. More information is available at the Governors Island website.