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Rick Poynor
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Archive: April 2011


On My Screen: The Back of Beyond

John Heyer’s The Back of Beyond, made for Shell Australia in 1954, was highly regarded in its day, winning the Grand Prix at the Venice Film Festival. This remarkably poetic docudrama retains a reputation in Australia as one of the country’s finest films. Elsewhere, few today have seen Heyer’s masterpiece.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (2)

Wim Wenders’ Strange and Quiet Places

The massive photographs in Wim Wenders’ new exhibition work best when they serve his painterly eye. So much contemporary color photography is neutrally descriptive, offering a bland, flat, digital obviousness. Intensely expressive color gives Wenders’ most involving images a super-reality that becomes an aspect of their strangeness and quietness.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (3)

Stewart Mackinnon: Ruptured and Remade

Stewart Mackinnon is one of the great mystery figures in British illustration. In just a few years, in the early 1970s, he established himself as one of the most original and brilliantly accomplished draftsmen of the day. But his graduation from the Royal College of Art was also his moment of resignation as an image-maker. Leaving behind a body of published work that few could rival in intensity, he took the decision to walk away.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (4)

Starowieyski’s Graphic Universe of Excess

With so much attention focused on the Wim Crouwel exhibition in London at the moment, it would be easy to overlook two small exhibitions of posters by Franciszek Starowieyski. Produced in the 1960s and 1970s at the same time as Crouwel’s posters, Starowieyski’s best work occupies a polar extreme. If Crouwel is the model of an Apollonian designer, then Starowieyski is violently Dionysiac.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (5)

Wim Crouwel: The Ghost in the Machine

What we can see now more clearly than ever, in Wim Crouwel's exhibition at the Design Museum, is that his practice was often at odds with the severity of his pronouncements. Far from suppressing his own creative personality in the way he advised, Crouwel was expressing it to the full. It just happens that this personality was inclined towards reduction and minimalism.

READ MORE | COMMENTS (12)
Rick Poynor is a writer, critic, lecturer and curator, specialising in design, media, photography and visual culture. He founded Eye, co-founded Design Observer, and contributes columns to Eye and Print. His latest book is Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design.


Recent Book


Uncanny Surrealism and Graphic Design
Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design
Rick Poynor
Moravian Gallery, 2010
More books by Rick Poynor >>


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