Jan Svankmajer and the Graphic Uncanny
I’m delighted to announce that Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design
, an exhibition I curated last year, will open at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam on Saturday. In the past year, I have been on a mission to encourage a reassessment of the influence of Surrealism on graphic design and image-making. These extraordinary designs, produced from the 1930s to the present, have received an enthusiastic response from young designers and image-makers who are often seeing these pieces for the first time.
Richard Hamilton, the Great Decipherer
Richard Hamilton, who has died aged 89, was one of the finest British artists of the post-war years. He was an unusual and appealing mixture, an old-school fine artist who loved paint as a medium, measured his progress against the masters, and never gave up on what used to be called visual values; and yet at the same time, an observer with an acute awareness of design and the contemporary world.
A Swedish Perspective on Critical Practice
There is an old saying that every new generation thinks it has invented sex. That is also how it sometimes seems with graphic designers and critical practice. The old-timers just didn’t get it — bless them! — but now, thanks to a mysterious sudden enlightenment, the new guard sees the situation of being a graphic designer more clearly, and more critically, than anyone ever managed to see it in the past.
Chris Foss and the Technological Sublime
Science fiction artist Chris Foss’s new monograph is an amazingly obsessive piece of cataloguing. At first it seems almost too relentless, with every painting precision welded into the grid, all the pictures equidistant, and no room to breathe. But the most visionary pictures have a stillness, a control of atmosphere and a mood of wonder, even when something beyond our terrestrial grasp is taking place.