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Art


04.17.14: Rick Poynor

The Conceptual Advertising of J.G. Ballard
J.G. Ballard’s conceptual ads anticipated the emergence of culture jamming, subvertising, design fiction and speculative design.
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04.11.14: Adam Plunkett

How to Visualize Poetry — And How Not to
Design Observer's poetry editor, Adam Plunkett, gives us a primer on visual poetry.
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04.06.14: John Foster

Found, Cut, and Rearranged: The Art of John Stezaker
For almost four decades, the artist John Stezaker has steadfastly been appropriating “found” press photographs, film stills, imagery from books, old postcards, and the like, to create a strikingly new way of seeing photography.
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03.16.14: John Foster

The Essence of a Teapot
While the traditional teapot should be at the very least functional — that is, have the ability to hold and pour a liquid, I recently viewed an exhibition that turns all that on end with the “idea of a teapot.”
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03.12.14: Adam Harrison Levy

Artist’s Cookbook: David Levinthal
David Levinthal's recipes of choice, his mother's brisket and her chocolate roll, are both nostalgic and riddled with more complex meanings.
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03.04.14: Jennifer Kabat

Genzken and the City
A review of Isa Genzken's current retrospective on view at the MOMA.
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02.26.14: Adam Harrison Levy

Artist’s Cookbook: Kiki Smith
Kiki Smith takes the body and turns it inside out. She makes art from innards. But she eats salad.
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02.16.14: John Foster

Face Time
This week, John Foster looks at the endless fascination we have with the human face and the myriad ways it can be transformed.
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02.14.14: Rick Poynor

From the Archive: Surface Wreckage
Why do photographs and images of torn street posters exert such a powerful hold on the imagination and emotions?
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02.09.14: John Foster

The Private World of Martina Kubelk
A photo album containing 99 pages and over 380 photographs; self-portraits of a man in women’s clothes.
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02.04.14: Rick Poynor

Why Tatlin Can Never Go Home Again
Raoul Hausmann’s photomontage Tatlin at Home is much pinned on Pinterest, but what has become of the original?
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01.26.14: John Foster

Imperfect Beauty
A collection of 26 photographic images with either deliberate or accidental flaws.
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01.19.14: John Foster

The Renewed Art of Embroidered Photographs
Few creative things today are truly new — it's the work that builds on, pushes forward and continues to invent that gets noticed.
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01.03.14: Rick Poynor

Martin Sharp: People, Politics and Pop
Martin Sharp rediscovered: drawings and collages from the book People, Politics and Pop: Australians in the Sixties.
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12.29.13: John Foster

From Russia With Doubt
From Russia with Doubt is the true story about brothers Ron and Roger Pollard, two amateur collectors who enjoyed going to flea markets and estate sales, picking up objects, paintings — anything they happened to like.
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12.25.13: Michael Bierut

And May All Your Christmases Be Carefully Staged So As To Appear White
A backstage story from George Balanchine's production of The Nutcracker dramatizes how difficult it is to create magical effects.
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12.10.13: Adam Harrison Levy

Artist’s Cookbook: Joel Meyerowitz
Photographer Joel Meyerowitz's story of marriage and pasta con le sarde.
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12.06.13: Rick Poynor

Martin Sharp: From Satire to Psychedelia
The late Martin Sharp was a visual innovator whose work erased artificial distinctions between applied image-making and fine art.
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12.03.13: Adam Harrison Levy

Artist's Cookbook: April Gornik
Artist April Gornik taught herself to cook from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.
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11.27.13: Adam Harrison Levy

Saul Leiter: Remembered
Saul Leiter taught himself to paint, but his father did not approve. These early abstract works, dating from the 1940s, show a remarkably confident use of line, color and composition.
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11.26.13: Adam Harrison Levy

Artist’s Cookbook: Alex Katz
When it comes to food, Alex Katz keeps it simple.
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11.18.13: Alexandra Lange

Art On Campus
A review of the renovated Blaffer Art Museum and James Turrell's latest skyspace, "Twilight Epiphany."
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11.11.13: Rick Poynor

Collage Culture: Nostalgia and Critique
An interview with David Banash, author of Collage Culture: Readymades, Meaning, and the Age of Consumption.
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11.10.13: John Foster

Extraordinary Spanish Art Environments
Accidental Mysteries for November 10, 2013 focuses on Extraordinary Spanish Art Environments.
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10.20.13: John Foster

Asemic Writing: Open to Interpretation
Accidental Mysteries for October 20, 2013 highlights asemic writing, open to Interpretation.
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10.15.13: Rick Poynor

From the Archive: Brian Eno, Artist of Light
An early profile of ambient musician and producer Brian Eno’s parallel career as a visual artist.
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10.10.13: Rick Poynor

New York: City of Spectacular Doors
For six years, Allan Markman crisscrossed New York taking pictures of remarkable doors for a new book.
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09.29.13: John Foster

The Open Eye: The Home Collection of Ray Yoshida
Accidental Mysteries for September 29, 2013 focuses on the vast home collection of Chicago artist and teacher Ray Yoshida.
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09.22.13: John Foster

Barkcloth Art of the Ömie
Accidental Mysteries for September 22 focuses on art of the Ömie people of New Guinea — powerful, graphic works on barkcloth that they call nioge.
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09.20.13: Roshanak Keyghobadi

Composing in Space: Tactile Poetry of Farhad Fozouni
A review of work by Iranian graphic designer Farhad Fozouni.
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09.16.13: Rick Poynor

Bohumil Stepan's Family Album of Oddities
Bohumil Stepan’s Familienalbum presents a series of surreally equipped and irreverently modified collages of his family.
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09.15.13: John Foster

Artful Mourning
Accidental Mysteries for September 15, 2013 focuses on the art of mourning in nineteenth and early twentieth century post-mortem and memorial photographs and memorabilia.
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09.07.13: Rick Poynor

Bohumil Stepan's Gallery of Erotic Humor
Mapp Editions has released a digital version of Bohumil Stepan’s Galerie (1968), a surreal collection of collages and drawings about the relationship between the sexes.
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09.01.13: John Foster

Signs of Labor
Accicental Mysteries for September 1, 2013 focuses on signs of labor.
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08.22.13: Rick Poynor

Collage Now, Part 1: Sergei Sviatchenko
In a crowded field, Sergei Sviatchenko’s highly reductive photo-collages look like his own and no one else’s.
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08.22.13: Rick Poynor

Collage Now, Part 2: Cut and Paste Culture
Cut-and-paste culture is booming and collage-making is rampant: paper-based, digital, and all points between.
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08.11.13: John Foster

Stitching Stories
Accidental Mysteries for August 11, 2013 focuses on Jane Waggoner Deschner and her stitched stories.
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08.09.13: Rick Poynor

David Maisel and the Apocalyptic Sublime
David Maisel’s photographs are visions of the Earth as we have never seen it full of beauty and terror.
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08.04.13: John Foster

The Collection de l’Art Brut
Accidental Mysteries for August 4, 2013 focuses on the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland.
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07.29.13: Rick Poynor

Soft Machine's Dysfunctional Mechanism
An alternative cover for the French release of The Soft Machine’s first album alludes to the history of the machine in 20th-century art.
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07.23.13: Alexandra Lange

Nevermind the Masterpiece
What's your "Masterpiece of Everyday New York"? A broken umbrella? A shirtwaist? Discarded gum?
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07.10.13: Rick Poynor

The Incidental Pleasures of Street Art
Sprawling, evolving, accreting: a collection of recent street art photos from Portugal and Spain.
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06.13.13: Rob Walker

Street Life
In praise of street art that draws attention to more than just itself.
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05.19.13: John Foster

A Nod to Surrealism

For artists not working in digital media — those who cut, build, draw, paint, glue, bend, and make things in the more traditional manner, there is something of a “Surrealist” popularity at hand today.
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05.18.13: Alexandra Lange

Dream Weaver
On a retrospective of the work of midcentury sculptor Ruth Asawa at Christie's, her first solo show in New York in 50 years.
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05.15.13: Rick Poynor

The Conceptual Posters of Boris Bucan
Boris Bućan’s little known early posters, produced in Zagreb, were reductive, sharply defined, cerebral and enigmatic.
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05.10.13: Rob Walker

The Medium Is The Mail
Jill Stoll combines artistic ritual, creative reuse, and the postal service as connector.
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05.07.13: John Thackara

Paranoid But Pretty
A review of Matthias Megyeri's new show at the German Architecture Center, and a review of the question the exhibition inspires: "Are we safer?"
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04.21.13: John Foster

The Deep Roots of Modernism
Accidental Mysteries for April 21, 2013 focuses on the Deep Roots of Modernism.
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03.31.13: John Foster

Drawn to Currency
The Accidental Mystery of Tim Prusmack's hand drawn currency.
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03.24.13: John Foster

Defiant Beauty
Accidental Mysteries for March 24, 2013 focuses on Defiant Beauty, the art of Chakaia Booker.
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03.17.13: John Foster

Dreams of the Sonora Aero Club
The mysterious, double-sided, collaged watercolor drawings that comprise the journals of Charles August Albert Dellschau
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03.10.13: John Foster

Kodachrome Finds New Life
Accidental Mysteries for March 10, 2013 focuses on Fred Herzog's Kodachrome slides.
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03.07.13: Alexandra Lange

After the Museum: The Tumblr
To create metamuseum.tumblr.com, a multi-museum, multi-curator Tumblr @MADMuseum, I saw it as a kind of curatorial game: Show Me What You’ve Got.
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03.05.13: Rick Poynor

On My Shelf: Fin de Copenhague
Asger Jorn and Guy Debord’s book Fin de Copenhague is a Situationist classic and a brilliant piece of design.
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02.24.13: John Foster

What's Inside?
Accidental Mysteries for February 17, 2013 focuses on what's inside: anatomical drawings.
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02.17.13: Alexandra Lange

Patterns of Houston
How do you critique the urbanism of Houston? Look for patterns.
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02.15.13: Rick Poynor

A Dictionary of Surrealism and the Graphic Image
An alphabetical guide to graphic designers influenced by Surrealism and to some key Surrealist concepts.
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02.10.13: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 02.10.13
Accidental Mysteries for February 10, 2013 focuses on the spirit of faces: a gallery of masks.
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01.22.13: Adam Harrison Levy

Dylan Stone: 100 Years
Adam Harrison Levy reviews Dylan Stone's exhibition of 100 years of personal pocket diaries at Ruth Phaneuf Fine Art.
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01.13.13: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 01.13.13
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is a miniaturist and his work.
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01.06.13: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 01.06.13
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is The Alchemist’s Notebook.
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12.28.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Twelve
In the end, Ezra Winter was a man whose devotion to the classical world virtually underscored his every move: it explained his ineffable pursuit of youth, his enduring worship of women, his unyielding obsessions with fantasy and grandeur, lyricism and scale, theatricality and costume, fable and myth.
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12.19.12: Alexandra Lange

Bad Taste True Confessions: Erté
True confessions about my own bad taste. I loved Erté. Did you?
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12.09.12: Rick Poynor

Dom Sylvester Houédard's Cosmic Typewriter
Dom Sylvester Houédard: Benedictine monk, champion of concrete poetry, and master of the “typestract.”
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12.09.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 12.09.12
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is hands.
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11.25.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 11.25.12
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is Motorcycle Club Cuts as American Folk Art.
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11.24.12: Rob Walker

Real Space, Imaginary Stuff
Some lessons from organizing a show about the marketplace as medium
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11.13.12: Alexandra Lange

Knolling Your Polling Place
Knolling your polling place: for the next election, a little spatial organization would go a long way.
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11.06.12: Ed Ruscha

Sign Painters
Ed Ruscha's forward to Sign Painters, a new book from Princeton Architectural Press.
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10.28.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 10.28.12
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is altered objects.
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10.25.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Ten
In April, 1933, Ezra Winter delivers a fifteen-minute live radio talk on the subject of mural painting in relation to modern life, in which he tries desperately to convince himself that he has embraced the modern world.
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10.21.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 10.21.12
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is Time.
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10.14.12: Rick Poynor

The Art of Punk and the Punk Aesthetic
Punk has two new graphic histories: Punk: An Aesthetic and The Art of Punk. What conclusions do they draw?
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10.14.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 10.14.12
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is Nocturnes.
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10.08.12: Alexandra Lange

Having Fun at the Museum
Blocks, rocket ships, playgrounds and balls: the hidden meaning of playthings at the Museum of Modern Art.
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10.05.12: Rick Poynor

The Museum of Communicating Objects
Orhan Pamuk’s The Innocence of Objects is an illuminating guide to his Museum of Innocence in Istanbul.
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09.30.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 09.30.12
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is art without artists.
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09.23.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 09.23.12
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is sequences.
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09.09.12: Rick Poynor

John Stezaker: Images from a Lost World
John Stezaker’s collages, recipients of a major photography prize, achieve great resonance with limited means.
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08.28.12: Alexandra Lange

Art Matters to Architecture
In Indianapolis, a restored Milton Glaser mural allows us to see its Brutalist home as its architect intended: with color!
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08.26.12: Rick Poynor

The Never-ending Struggle against Clutter
Clutter and design are inseparable as concepts because clutter is the negation of design.
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08.19.12: Rick Poynor

On My Shelf: André Breton's Nadja
The Livre de poche edition of André Breton’s Surrealist classic Nadja remains the best visual interpretation of the book.
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08.09.12: Rick Poynor

Sending Signals about Political Graphics
Issue two of Signal, a journal about the visual languages used around the world to support political protest.
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07.29.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 07.29.12
Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography.
READ MORE

07.15.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries: 07.15.12
Bill Traylor was born a slave in 1854. In the mid-1930s he began to draw, always from memory — the animals, people and events he recalled in his life.
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05.05.12: Rob Walker

Assignment Creativity
A chaotic and entertaining collection addresses "the art of the art assignment."
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04.15.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 04.15.12
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is Hannah Höch.
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04.06.12: Rick Poynor

The Enduring Influence of Richard Hollis
An exhibition of Richard Hollis’s work provides the first public opportunity to assess the entire shape of his output.
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03.31.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Three
In his first post-Academy professional pursuit, Ezra Winter is hired to design camouflage for the United States Shipping Board, using a reductive visual vocabulary of bold stripes and patches of solid color that is far closer to the language of Klee and Kandinsky than of the Renaissance masters he loves.
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03.18.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 03.18.12
Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age. This week's focus is surreal, mystical and metaphorical imagery in contemporary fine art.
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03.02.12: Rick Poynor

Motif Magazine: The World Made Visible
Motif magazine, founded in 1958, anticipated a new way of seeing, documenting and appreciating the “visible world.”
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02.26.12: Rick Poynor

John McHale and the Expendable Ikon
Artist, graphic designer, information theorist, architectural critic, sociologist, futurist: it’s time to rediscover John McHale.
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02.12.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 02.12.12
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment. This week's focus is Politics.
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01.31.12: Rick Poynor

The Evil Genius of David Shrigley
British artist David Shrigley, subject of a major exhibition in London, is forever tempting and testing the viewer.
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01.30.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter One
Jessica Helfand, who teaches the seminar "Studies in Visual Biography" at Yale, shares her year-long exploration of the American muralist Ezra Winter: this is part one.
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01.23.12: Adam Harrison Levy

A History Of The World In 100 Objects
Adam Harrison Levy reviews the book A History Of The World In 100 Objects.
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01.19.12: Rick Poynor

Ernst Haas and the Color Underground
Has Ernst Haas, an early master of color photography, received the credit his ground-breaking pictures deserve?
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01.08.12: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 01.08.12
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.
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01.01.12: John Foster

A New American Picture: Doug Rickard and Street Photography in the Age of Google
When Google launched Street View in 2007, photogrpaher Doug Rickard had a photographic epiphany.
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12.27.11: John Thackara

Why Walls Need Floors
The artist has worked with the knowledge that most of his site-and time-specific specific works are destined to disappear. Why?
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12.11.11: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 12.11.11
Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.
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12.07.11: Alexandra Lange

When Modernists Get Crafty
The Museum of Arts and Design's Crafting Modernism makes a good case for bringing back macrame.
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12.01.11: Rick Poynor

Man in a Bowler: Illustration after Magritte
By copying Magritte’s subject matter and method, illustrators ended up making a great artist look hackneyed.
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11.10.11: Rick Poynor

Literary Horror from the Chapman Brothers
British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman have created an image of sublime horror for the cover of Granta magazine.
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10.22.11: Rick Poynor

On Display: The Kirkland Museum
If I had to pick just one Denver museum to revisit, it would be the fabulous Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art.
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09.22.11: Rick Poynor

Jan Svankmajer and the Graphic Uncanny
Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design opens at the Kunstal in Rotterdam on September 24.
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09.19.11: Alice Twemlow

Remembering Richard Hamilton as Design Critic
Alice Twemlow remembers Richard Hamilton, artist and design writer.
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09.15.11: Rick Poynor

Richard Hamilton, the Great Decipherer
The artist Richard Hamilton, who died this week, was an acute observer of design and the contemporary world.
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09.01.11: Rick Poynor

Chris Foss and the Technological Sublime
Is cult science fiction artist Chris Foss’s work just highly effective illustration, or can it be seen as a visionary form of art?
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08.25.11: Rick Poynor

On My Shelf: The Metallization of a Dream
The best designed book about the artist Eduardo Paolozzi was compiled in 1963 by a student at the Royal College of Art.
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08.22.11: Adam Harrison Levy

A Clean, Well Lighted Place
Walking into Jeff Koons’s studio is like entering a medical laboratory crossed with an open plan office. It’s an ER room for art.
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08.17.11: Rick Poynor

Funerary Portraits: Snapshots in Stone
The portrait sculptures in the Cimetière du château in Nice resuscitate their subjects with a frequently startling vividness.
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07.27.11: Rick Poynor

Andrzej Klimowski: Transmitting the Image
Andrzej Klimowski, author of a new book, On Illustration, has used the medium to create a compelling alternative reality.
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07.21.11: Rick Poynor

J.G. Ballard's Terminal Documents
A speculative visual interpretation of one of the surreal image lists in J.G. Ballard’s experimental novel The Atrocity Exhibition.
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07.06.11: Rick Poynor

The Dictionary as Art Concept
A new Magritte exhibition catalogue is not the first to take the form of a dictionary. How important is originality when it comes to book design?
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06.22.11: Rick Poynor

On the Threshold of Sebald's Room
Daniel Blaufuks is haunted by a picture of an office in W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz. Where did it come from and what does it show?
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05.20.11: Julie Lasky

Tribute to Tobi
A year after Tobias Wong's death, the exhibition "Brokenoff Brokenoff" opened in New York.
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05.19.11: Rick Poynor

Unearthly Powers: Surrealism and SF
Richard Powers, auteur of the paperback cover, was a key figure linking science fiction and Surrealism.
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05.02.11: Steven Heller

Paul Rand, Painter
Paul Rand had more in common with Paul Klee than a four letter first and last name. He too, painted.
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04.12.11: Rick Poynor

Stewart Mackinnon: Ruptured and Remade
Why, at the height of his early success, did a brilliant British illustrator decide to walk away and what happened next?
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04.07.11: Rick Poynor

Starowieyski's Graphic Universe of Excess
In Franciszek Starowieyski’s posters, desire, sexuality, monstrosity, madness and death conjoin in some of the most outrageous images found in graphic design.
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03.25.11: Rick Poynor

An Unknown Master of Poster Design
Karel Teissig might just be the best poster designer you have never heard of.
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03.18.11: Rick Poynor

Slicing Open the Surrealist Eyeball
Surrealism codified a poetic principle that has always existed as a possibility and still exists in life and art.
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03.17.11: James Biber

Pictures of Pictures
James Biber gives us a close new look at familiar paintings.
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03.11.11: Rick Poynor

What Does J.G. Ballard Look Like? Part 2
There is increasing interest in the relationship between the writer J.G. Ballard and the visual arts. Have Ballard’s admirers and critics overlooked the most Ballardian artist of them all?
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02.17.11: Mark Lamster

Cities from the Sky
A new exhibition of urban photographs by Sze Tsung Leong.
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02.14.11: Mark Lamster

MoCA Loco
A weekend visit to MoCA, and barren downtown LA.
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02.10.11: Rick Poynor

A Journal with No Fear of Flying
The Drawbridge’s change of visual direction is one of the most dramatic ever ventured by a literary magazine.
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02.04.11: Rick Poynor

What Does J.G. Ballard Look Like?
J.G. Ballard was one of those rare writers whose vision inspired a new adjective. What is a “Ballardian” image and how have designers and image-makers interpreted it?
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01.27.11: Jessica Helfand

When Do We Call it Art?
Back in the pre-Banksy days of big cars and even bigger hair, there came a cultural moment noted for its prevalence of large-scaled words and symbols, a comparatively brazen visual trope that flirted with modernity by celebrating overscaled visuals in the interest of commerce.
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01.20.11: Mark Lamster

Gerd Arntz: Design Icon
Gerd Arntz: A design icon who designed icons.
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01.20.11: Meena Kadri

Meena Kadri's Collection of Indian Street Graphics
It started quite innocently — as most obsessions do. A snap of a painted truck here and spot of rural advertising there, on annual trips to the ancestral homeland.
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12.30.10: Rick Poynor

Surrealism in the Pre-School Years
A poet described postcards as a “Lilliputian hallucination of the world”: he must have seen the surreal babies.
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12.23.10: Mark Lamster

The Once & Future Whitney Museum
The Whitney: An Architectural Tour.
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12.21.10: Julie Lasky

"Do Not Touch!"
An art-gallery chair plays hard to get.
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12.13.10: Mark Lamster

Beauty on the Border
Stop-you-in-your-tracks beauty on the US/Canada border.
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12.08.10: Alexandra Lange

No Rest at the Last Supper
"Leonardo's Last Supper: A Vision by Peter Greenaway" is indeed a dud: cheese-tastic, bombastic, didactic.
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12.01.10: Rick Poynor

Where Is Art Now?
Leaving the art world to decide what art is doesn’t resolve the issue of quality.
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11.29.10: Nancy Levinson

Art Talks
Adam Lowe and Peter Greenaway at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City; Justin Partyka and Sir Terry Farrell at Eleven Spitalfields in London,
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11.24.10: Michelle Hauser

A Fluid and Expressive Medium: Interview with Robert E. Jackson
In recent years, a new breed of photographer has emerged: the camera-less Photographer. This new generation — many of whom self-identify as collectors — has reinvented the process once again. Michelle Hauser interviews Robert E. Jackson, one of the country's most prolific collector of vernacular photography, who lays claim to a breadth and depth of material rivaled by few if any, in this emerging field.
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11.05.10: Nancy Levinson

Greenaway at the Armory
Peter Greenaway's Leonardo's Last Supper: A Vision, at the Park Avenue Armory in New York.
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11.05.10: Rick Poynor

Danzig Baldaev’s Prison House of Flesh
Fuel’s Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia, which appeared in 2004, was a shrewdly judged piece of publishing. The meticulous ink drawings of tattoos made by Danzig Baldaev, a prison guard from 1948 to 1986, had a horrible fascination for viewers safe in the knowledge that they would never have to endure anything as harsh, perilous and sadistic as the Soviet penal system.
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11.05.10: Rick Poynor

On My Shelf: Surrealism Permanent Revelation
This post is the first in an occasional series. The idea is to revisit a book from my bookshelf.
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11.05.10: Rick Poynor

An App for the Self-Replacing Book
British artist Tom Phillips’A Humument, must be one of the most successful artist’s books ever published. Now, in an entirely logical development, comes The Humument app for the iPad.
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10.25.10: Marian Bantjes & Jessica Helfand

The Bantjes Covers
Marian Bantjes exposes the long process that led to the cover of her new monograph, I Wonder.
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10.19.10: Alexandra Lange

On Design Observer: Girard + Folk Art
Alexander Girard fascinates me as an architect who refused to play the skyscraper game, focusing his considerable talents on restaurants, textiles, exhibitions and murals.
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10.18.10: Mark Lamster

Wavefield: Maya Lin at Storm King
I went out with the family to see Maya Lin’s Wavefield up at Storm King Art Center over the weekend.
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10.03.10: John Foster

Accidental Mysteries, 10.03.10
Accidental Mysteries, a new weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.
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10.02.10: Mark Lamster

Upside Dome
Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s “Upside Dome” installation at St. Michiel’s in Leuven is so beautiful I can’t help but post a picture of it here
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07.21.10: Christopher Mount

Wild at Heart: Tadanori Yokoo
Essay adapted from the catalog for "The Complete Posters of Tadanori Yokoo," an exhibition running through September 12, 2010, at the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan.
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07.20.10: Mark Lamster

Master of Shadows: Paperback
Behold the very dashing cover for the forthcoming paperback edition of Master of Shadows, design by the great John Gall.
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06.12.10: Mark Lamster

Oh, Culture: A Koons at the Seagram Building
I imagine Mies would not have been pleased to see Jeff Koons's kitschy pink balloon dog standing guard in the lobby of the Seagram Building, his masterpiece of pristine austerity.
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06.11.10: Alexandra Lange

Op Art Eye Candy
I’m lucky that I get to live with a Julian Stanczak painting, bought by my father-in-law in 1968, when Op Art was really something.
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06.01.10: Jessica Helfand

Rome's MAXXI: Force Field as Field Space
The MAXXI center in Rome opens with a glorious, international exhibition and showcases a building that is likely to be as controversial — and as celebrated — as its designer.
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05.19.10: Helen Chang

Jugendstil: The Youth Style of Viennese Book Art
Turn-of-the-century Vienna was a magical, infectious brew. Viennese children’s book illustrations at the time were no exception.
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05.16.10: Mark Lamster

Rubens and the Right
A couple of weeks ago I went up to Cambridge for a symposium on Rubens, hoping to catch up on the latest scholarship and check in with friends in the art history game.
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05.15.10: Eric Baker

Today, 05.15.10
Each morning, before starting work, I spend 30 minutes looking for images that are beautiful, funny, absurd and inspiring. Here's TODAY.
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04.29.10: Elliott Earls

The Sentient and the Bag of Meat
In most cases, design education takes place within the larger context of this thing called “art school.” Students can be grouped into one of two categories: the Sentient and the Bag of Meat.
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04.19.10: Adrian Shaughnessy

Safety and Comfort: A Walk with Paul Davis
Davis has asked me to write the introduction to his latest book. I told him I didn't want to write about the usual stuff. He agreed and suggested we go for a walk instead.
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04.02.10: Mark Lamster

A Very Good Book
Anyone who sees fit to pontificate on the status and future of the book should be legally obligated to see the MET's exhibition of the Limbourg brothers' Belles Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry.
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03.13.10: Rob Walker

Valuing $0
Lewis Hyde wrote The Gift decades ago for an audience of artists, writers and other people who create. Chris Anderson, cited Hyde’s work in his book Free, published last year.
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03.10.10: Sze Tsung Leong, David Burdeny

A Matter of Perspective?
The Vancouver Sun has run a long follow-up story, by Jennifer Moss, to my Los Angeles Times pieceon the plagiarism charges leveled by Sze Tsung Leong against David Burden
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02.19.10: Jessica Helfand

Prisoners of Logic
For five or six years now, I have led a double life as a painter. Until recently, I viewed this other identity as a kind of dirty secret.
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12.16.09: Mark Lamster

Talking Rubens with Leonard Lopate
I'll be appearing on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show this afternoon.
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12.07.09: Mark Lamster

Master of Shadows: A Telegraph Book of the Year
The distinguished British historian Michael Burleigh has named Master of Shadows a Book of the Year in the Telegraph.
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12.01.09: Mark Lamster

"Compelling" & "Important": The L.A. Times Praises Master of Shadows
Good book reviews are rarities to be prized in these days of shuttered newspapers and diminished book coverage. By good I don't simply mean positive.
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11.25.09: Mark Lamster

Dankuwel Antwerpen!
This is a good week to be thankful and I am especially grateful to everyone who made the launch of De meester van de schaduw in Antwerp such a success.
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11.11.09: Mark Lamster

The Big Stage
'll be giving a talk on Rubens and his diplomatic career at the Ringling Museum's extraordinary Asolo Theater.
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11.03.09: Felice C. Frankel, George M. Whitesides

No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale
A slideshow of images from the book, No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale.
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11.03.09: Steven Heller

Why Does John Baeder Paint Diners?
John Baeder's goal for the past three decades has been to record on canvas and paper just about every diner and roadside eatery.
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11.02.09: Mark Lamster

A Renaissance Who Dunnit
Tomorrow the Metropolitan Museum will put on display a sculpture of a boy archer that made headlines about a decade ago when a New York art historian claimed it was the work of Michelangelo.
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10.27.09: Jessica Helfand

All Things Matter
His name was Herbert Matter, a man even the ornery Paul Rand described as possibly the least pompous person on the planet. When I was a junior in college, he taught me how to make a Photogram. He was 74 years old.
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10.19.09: Mark Lamster

Peter Paul Rubens: Graphic Designer
In his day, Rubens was also revered as a diplomat, an architect, a classical scholar, and even a graphic designer.
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10.10.09: Mark Lamster

The Art of Diplomacy
It's a rather satisfying bit of parallelism that the excerpt of my book on the political career of Peter Paul Rubens appears in the Wall Street Journal on the same day that Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is the paper's lead story.
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10.09.09: Mark Lamster

A Bibliophile's Revelation
Domenichino's St. John the Evangelist seems, as much as anything, a celebration of the act of writing and the ecstasy of the written word. 
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09.06.09: Alexandra Lange

First Flight
My two-year-old made his first interpretation of art on Saturday at the Storm King Art Center.
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08.25.09: Mark Lamster

Auto-Matic Abstraction
With their zippy vertical lines, these pictures I shot out of a car window remind me of Barney Newman.
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08.22.09: Mark Lamster

On "Master of Shadows"
Peter Paul Rubens gives us a lot to think about in his canvasses of rushing color, action, and puckered flesh, so it’s not surprising that his work as a diplomat and spy has been neglected.
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08.01.09: Alexandra Lange

Summer As a Verb
The estate of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens is a lovely place to picnic while reviewing the artist's work.
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07.21.09: Mark Lamster

Advance Praise for Master of Shadows
The first notices for Master of Shadows are beginning to flow in, and I'm happy to report that the initial response has been very positive indeed.
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07.16.09: Mark Lamster

Live Fast, Die Young
Dash Snow rests in a long line of dangerous, self-destructive artists who've captured the public imagination.
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06.29.09: Mark Lamster

Meet James Ensor
It's been some three decades since James Ensor has had a major museum exhibition in the US, which makes MoMA's new show a rare pleasure.
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06.24.09: Ars Libri Ltd

Paul Schuitema Collection
This remarkable collection of graphic design is from the Dutch designer Paul Schuitema.
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06.12.09: Mark Lamster

Red Star
The New York-Amsterdam connection has been much in the news of late, and rightly so, as this is the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's Dutch-sponsored voyage of American discovery.
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06.10.09: Mark Lamster

All in the Family
My cousin Barbara Schaefer is having a show of recent work at Shop Art, on Bergen Street in Brooklyn.
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06.05.09: Mark Lamster

Tormented Youth
Next week the MET will put on display Michelangelo's "Torment of Saint Anthony," reputedly the artist's first painting.
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06.04.09: Ars Libri Ltd

Walter Dexel Collection
This remarkable collection of graphic design is from the German Constructivist artist and typographer Walter Dexel.
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06.02.09: William Drenttel

Once Out of Chaos

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06.02.09: Mark Lamster

Bowery on the Beach?
Has Leigh Bowery, said to have died more than a decade ago, been hiding out on the Coney Island boardwalk sporting a mullet all along?
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05.27.09: Mark Lamster

Urban Camouflage
As the Magritte Museum was prepared for its unveiling, the building was cloaked by a brilliant trompe-l'oeil construction wall, very much in the spirit of the artist.
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05.20.09: Julie Lasky

This End Up: Renzo Piano's Modern Wing

Julie Lasky reviews the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing.


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05.18.09: Adam Eeuwens

One Word, Plastics
This is a call to action for designers to donate credit cards, gift cards, discount cards, hotel key cards, phone cards to the Graphic Design Museum in Breda, The Netherlands.
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05.16.09: Mark Lamster

On Muses
Lee Siegel has a wonderful piece in today's WSJ on the history and decline of the muse in art.
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05.14.09: Mark Lamster

Triumph of the Will (Or, Everything Old Is New Again)
In the New Yorker this week, Jonah Lehrer writes about a psychological study suggesting that self control, or the ability to delay gratification, more strongly correlates with long-term success than intelligence.
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05.12.09: Adam Harrison Levy

An Interview With Philip Glass
In 2005, Adam Harrison Levy interviewed Philip Glass for a BBC documentary film about Chuck Close. Glass was seated in front of the monumental painting Phil, 1969. This is their exchange.
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05.12.09: Jason Grant

Cultured Graphic Hygiene
Regardless of how difficult, disobedient or messy their subject, museum posters are courteous and clean. Is there any reason why graphic design for museums shouldn’t be the measure of their exhibits?
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03.29.09: Mark Lamster

UnMonumental
While it's true that the events of 9/11 have begotten a good number of ill-conceived memorials, the latest, set for unveiling today at the Yankees' spring training home in Tampa, might just be the least successful, artistically.
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03.17.09: Mark Lamster

Access Denied
In putting together the images for Master of Shadows, my publisher placed a permissions request to use a painting from the collection of the Norton Simon Foundation, in Los Angeles, only to be denied.
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02.28.09: Mark Lamster

After Peter Paul Rubens (Long After)
Perusing the Christie's website a few days ago, I noticed a print attributed to William Pether "after Peter Paul Rubens."
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01.15.09: Mark Lamster

Master of Shadows: The Cover
Behold the cover for Master of Shadows, which releases this coming October.
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12.18.08: Rick Poynor

Barney Bubbles: Optics and Semantics
The intricately reflexive nature of his work made Barney Bubbles a true original in his time. No previous British designer had produced graphic communications this playful, personal, dense with allusion, or tricksy. Bubbles was a postmodernist before this new category of graphic design had been identified and defined, and he is as significant an innovator as his American contemporary April Greiman.
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12.03.08: Steven Heller

My Dada
Way back in 1965, as a fifteen years old, I was an early EVOtee. I had stumbled upon one of the first issues at a newsstand. The cover, which I remember vividly, had a photo collage of a serpent emerging from battle fatigues worn by America's commanding general in Vietnam, William Westmoreland. Haunting is not a strong enough word to describe the impact that this had on a teen just a year or two out of Valley Forge Military Academy, where, surprisingly, I had learned about the military impossibility of winning the war.
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12.03.08: Steven Heller

Draw Me Schools Of Commercial Art
Scores of advertisements, like the famous "Draw Me!" matchbook cover, offered willing aspirants the big chance to earn "$65, $80 and more a week" in "a pleasant, profitable Art career." Although the ads often shared space at the back of cheesy pulp magazines with offers to learn, well, brain surgery at home, they offered a legitimate way for anyone with a modicum of talent, limited means and an existing job to train in their spare time for a new profession.
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10.09.08: Lawrence Weschler

The Work of Tara Donovan
In October 2008, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston opened an exhibition spanning a decade of Tara Donovan’s work. Here, she is interviewed by Lawrence Weschler.
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09.15.08: Jessica Helfand

Second in a Series: Completions
The series, when shown on a single surface, carries with it a kind of implicit satisfaction that a series disseminated over time does not.
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09.12.08: Rob Walker

Shared Memories
Many of the images reproduced in Scrapbooks: An American History, by Jessica Helfand, date back 50, 80, even 100 years. Reproduced in color and spread across wide pages, the anonymous scrapbook creators could hardly have imagined such a fate for their work.
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08.26.08: Steven Heller

Where Have You Gone R. Cobb?

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08.19.08: Jessica Helfand

Biblionomatopoeia
What do you call book jacket design that manipulates the book jacket itself in an effort to illustrate the content of the book? Answer: biblionomatopoeia.
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08.19.08: Adam Zagajewski

"Describing Paintings"
"Describing Painting" a poem by Adam Zagajewski from his new book Eternal Enemies.
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08.07.08: Jessica Helfand

First In A Series: Cartophily
Mostly unified by their one-to-two format, cigarette cards revealed countless variation in topic and scope, style and personality, seriousness of purpose and goofball whimsy. If the ardent collector defines the amalgamation of disparate items by retaining a fundamental organizing principle, then what is it, exactly, that guides the maker? And enthralls the viewer?
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06.30.08: Jessica Helfand

Reflections on the Ephemeral World, Part Two: Food
Ever since the 16th century Italian Mannerist painter Archimboldo made portraits from the detritus of his dinner, the relationship between the visual and the edible has been something of a puzzle. Welcome to the world of foodistry: design with food.
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06.07.08: William Drenttel

Thoughts on Democracy, July 4 2008

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04.07.08: Lorraine Wild

100%
So, it’s 1966 and two guys are hanging around their Los Angeles apartment, musing about the sort of things that people mused about in the Sixties. The aesthetic philosophers in question were the artist Ed Ruscha and the artist/comedy writer/composer/performer Mason Williams...
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04.03.08: Tom Vanderbilt

Blast-Door Art: Cave Paintings of Nuclear Era
Welcome to the mordant, jingoistic and occasionally crude world — but rarely before seen world — of “blast-door art�? — the cave paintings of the nuclear era.
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01.21.08: James Traub

Art Rogers vs. Jeff Koons
James Traub on the Art Rogers vs. Jeff Koons legal case, perhaps relevant to recent discussions about Richard Prince's art.
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12.22.07: Michael Bierut

The Most Hated Holiday Song in the World
Ten years ago, Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid attempted to create the most irritating song in the world. It's now available online, and it's perfect for the holidays!
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12.01.07: Rob Walker

Tobias Wong on Consuming Consumer Consumption
Tobias Wong on Consuming Consumer Consumption.
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10.16.07: Jessica Helfand

Science and Design: The Next Wave
Scientists probe and manipulate and channel and divide; they split and fuse and spike and engineer; but most of all, they look. As a designer, to spend any time with scientists is to become at once profoundly aware of our similarities and devastated by that which divides us.
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10.01.07: Jessica Helfand

Stan Brakhage: Caught on Tape
For Stan Brakhage, that concentration resulted in extraordinary explorations of many things, including the life cycle of a moth, caught on adhesive strips of tape, and subsequently captured on film where it regained — however briefly — the magnificent illusion of mobility. For designers, faced by budgets and clients and deadlines, the luxury of so much isolation seems a distant, if not an altogether perverse paradigm. But are these intentions really so mutually exclusive?
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08.16.07: Michael Bierut

Flat, Simple and Funny: The World of Charley Harper
A tribute to the late designer Charley Harper, "the only wildlife artist who has never been compared to Audubon and never will be."
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07.13.07: Peter Good

Remembering Sol Lewitt (1928-2007)
I first met Sol Lewitt in 1986, when he and Carol and their young daughters moved to Chester, Connecticut, a small town on the Connecticut River where I have a graphic design studio. We met at an opening at the Chester Gallery...
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05.17.07: Jessica Helfand

Ad Reinhardt, Graphic Designer
Ad Reinhardt fretted about the meaning of life. He agonized about the purpose of painting. He questioned everyone, critiqued everything, and worked incessantly. In other words, he was a graphic designer.
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03.19.07: Michael Bierut

Good at Art
Growing up in the sixties, I couldn't throw or catch a baseball with authority, punch someone in the face, or shoplift. But I had something I could call my very own. I was good at art.
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02.19.07: Jessica Helfand

The Illusion of Certainty
Artist Allan McCollum aspires to an unprecedented scale with this "Shapes" project: his goal is to make enough shapes, assuming a population of approximately 9.1 billion by the year 2050, so that everyone on the planet can have one. Shapes aside, what's truly fascinating is the idea of the system: what is it about them that we hate to love and love to hate?
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02.08.07: William Drenttel

The Good Citizen's Alphabet
Bertrand Russell had the wisdom to realize that certain words require proper definition to be used correctly in political and social discourse. This alphabet book is offered here as a slide show for our readers.
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02.01.07: Dmitri Siegel

Interface Space
Contemporary artists make physical versions of interface elements.
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04.11.06: Jessica Helfand

The Propensity for Density
It's like design's been on a diet and finally gets to eat that giant cheesecake: shifting notches on the belt buckle, we're so happy for the sugar high that we don't realize we're slipping. And slipping we are.
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04.03.06: William Drenttel

Meet Me in St. Louis: The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts makes the radical assumption that the experience of art is about contemplation. Take your time. You are alone here. The light will change if you stay long enough.
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03.16.06: Lawrence Weschler

Languorous Bodyscapes
"The long, languid spread of her body makes the first and most lasting impression." And more on these sorts of landscape-bodyscape slippages by this seasoned The New Yorker writer, and recent author of Everything That Rises : A Book of Convergences.
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01.05.06: Julie Lasky

Edward Hopper, Village Person
My friend opened the door to a minimally furnished skylit room. It had a pot-bellied stove, a painter's easel, and photos framed on the wall of a grim man with long legs. The room was the studio of Edward Hopper. (Slide show by Duane Michals.)
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12.16.05: Jessica Helfand

Face Value
Facial transplants mapping our future: how much is the world of design responsible?
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12.01.05: Jessica Helfand

Cease and Design
Where graphic design education is concerned, more doing and less asking is necessary.
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11.17.05: William Drenttel

David Hughes: Caricaturist of Our Time
But my favorite, in recent years, is the British illustrator David Hughes. I yearn for his drawings, look for them in my favorite publications, and save them whenever and wherever I find them.
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11.03.05: Jessica Helfand

On Considering the Source
As primary sources of inspiration in art become a rarified reality, one is forced to wonder where are the original, the unmediated and the pure, sans cliche?
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09.11.05: Michael Bierut

Four Years After
After four years of ambiguity and contention and the World Trade Center site, Ellsworth Kelly's 2003 proposal seems wiser than ever.
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07.27.05: Rick Poynor

Vladimir's House and Garden of Earthly Delights
Spending two weeks in Vladimir Beck's house on the island of Vrnik in Croatia made me question, yet again, rigid distinctions between artist and designer. Here, it's impossible to separate the two. Beck has designed every feature with a high degree of thought for what might make a domicile located in such a setting pleasurable and practical to live in.
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06.24.05: William Drenttel

Catastrophic Imaginings: The Design of Disaster
In the end, artificial disasters are designed to elicit and test the responses of participants. In their recording, both allow for a post-mortem evaluation. How did I do? How would I respond? Would I sit patiently in my car a mile up the road? Would I watch from my window, safe in my home?
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06.22.05: Jessica Helfand

The Adventures of Cynic Boy and Design Mom in 3D
Brainwashed I may be, but I distinctly noted an homage to Salvador Dalí — with perhaps a gentle nod to René Magritte — last night while sitting through Robert Rodriguez's ludicrous, yet oddly luscious new movie, The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D.
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06.16.05: Rick Poynor

In Memoriam: My Manual Typewriter
The fully evolved typewriter is a 20th-century industrial archetype. It feels inevitable, almost elemental, like one of those object types, such as a chair or a fork, that simply had to exist in this universe of forms.
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06.06.05: Michael Bierut

The Man Who Saved Jackson Pollock
Herbert Matter, the designer who stored away a cache of recently-discovered Jackson Pollock paintings, deserves a similar rediscovery.
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06.03.05: Rick Poynor

Mevis and Van Deursen: Rueful Recollections, Recycled Design
In their self-edited monograph, Dutch graphic designers Mevis and Van Deursen turn their backs on their professed commitment to ideas and treat the book mainly as an opportunity for undemanding aesthetic play.
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04.24.05: Rick Poynor

Eduardo Paolozzi, 20th Century Image-Maker
If a visual artist created more concentrated, exhilarating images of science, technology and the media realm during the mid-20th century than British artist Eduardo Paolozzi, then I would like to see them. Paolozzi, who died on 22 April aged 81, was first of all a sculptor, but the screenprints he produced in the 1960s rank as masterpieces of the medium.
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04.03.05: Michael Bierut

Homage to the Squares
The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's exhibition Design is not Art provides a useful contrast to an simultaneous exhibition of the work of Josef and Anni Albers, and demonstrates differences between art and design.
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03.17.05: Jessica Helfand

Scrapbooking: The New Paste-Up
"Craft-born embellishments," note one supplier of scrapbooking products, "are penetrating an unexpected market: graphic design."
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02.26.05: Michael Bierut

Designing Under the Influence
The similarity of a young designer's work to that of the artist Barbara Kruger provides the starting point for a discussion of the role of influence in design, and whether it is possible for someone to "own" a specific style.
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02.21.05: Jessica Helfand

Our Bodies, Our Fonts
Body markings — piercings, tattoos and so forth — have recently evolved into a kind of marginalized form of graphic expression, yet one that sheds an unusual light on some of the more mainstream ways in which design often reveals itself.
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02.19.05: Kenneth Krushel

The Gates
Much has been written about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "Gates" project in Central Park in New York City. In the past few days, though, we have received two further reports on this project which we want to share with our readers: an essay by Ken Krushel and a photographic portfolio by Adam Bartos.
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02.16.05: Jessica Helfand

The New Paper Chase: Cyberspace on The Auction Block
On February 23, Christies in New York will auction more than 1,000 items dating as far back as the early 17th century, all of it tracing the history of cyberspace.
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02.13.05: Julie Lasky

Christo's Agent Orange
Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Central Park gates lack that magnetic, landscape-transforming power. Could this be owing not just to the way the gates drive viewers to seek greater heights of sensation, but also to the off-putting emergency color, the subtle grid of the rip-stop nylon reminiscent of quick escapes from troubled aircraft?
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01.19.05: Michael Bierut

The Best Artist in the World
Alton Tobey, a little-known commercial illustrator, created a body of work in the early sixties that continues to inspire.
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08.05.04: Jessica Helfand

An Instrument of Sufficiently Lucid Cogitation
The legendary French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, who died on Tuesday at his home in the South of France, always carried a sketchbook with him. Today's obituary in The New York Times alleges that he described drawing as meditative, while photography was intuitive: though certainly both activities might have been informed by a relentless need to observe and in a sense, preserve the world around him.
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07.31.04: Rick Poynor

Britain and America: United in Idiocy
What do Brits and Americans think of each other? In Us & Them, a book by the satirical British illustrator Paul Davis, the two countries have one thing in common: they are both equally stupid. That’s not saying much.
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07.12.04: Michael Bierut

Ed Ruscha: When Art Rises to the Level of Graphic Design
A retrospective of the drawings of Ed Ruscha raises the question: is he an artist or a graphic designer?
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05.29.04: Michael Bierut

McSweeney's No. 13 and the Revenge of the Nerds
McSweeney's No. 13, published by Dave Eggers and guest edited by Chris Ware, is a masterwork of publication design and an invaluable survey of today's best comic artists and graphic novelists.
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04.23.04: Rick Poynor

Critics and Their Purpose
Pulling a 1960s art magazine from the shelf, I opened it at random to find a long list of thoughts about art criticism assembled in 1966 by students at the Royal College of Art in London. Many of these ideas apply to design.
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04.10.04: William Drenttel

El Lissitzky for Pesach

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02.24.04: Jessica Helfand

The Crisis of Intent

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01.15.04: William Drenttel

Rationalizing Absence
James Turrell's influence on World Trade Tower memorial design.
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01.05.04: William Drenttel

Adolf Wölfli Invents Design Brut?
Mr. Gomez has taken your basic 19th-century-madman-artist and turned him into a model 20th century graphic designer.
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11.24.03: Michael Bierut

Mark Lombardi and the Ecstasy of Conspiracy
Artist Mark Lombardi's intricate handdrawn diagrams describing the relationships behind contemporary political and financial scandals are both beautiful objects and extraordinary feats of information design.
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11.22.03: Jessica Helfand

On Visual Empathy
In a world besieged by unpredictable atrocities, don't we all feel a little emotionally raw? Two recent articles in suggest that visual empathy may more critical to a productive imagination than we thought.
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09.10.03: Jessica Helfand

The Art of Elegant Abstraction
Bill Morrison's surprising 66-minute film is now playing on the Sundance Channel. For listings, see: http://www.sundancechannel.com/film_finder/index.php?startingLetter=d
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