A current selection of historical graphic design, art and photography exhibitions from around the world. From large retrospectives to intimate showings, these important exhibits feature the varied styles and spirit of the design pioneers, movements and ideologies that have defined and influenced 20th century modern art and design. Please contact us if you know of an important exhibition we may have missed.
May 1 – June 18, 2014
AIGA National Design Center, New York City
Interest in type, typefaces, typography and fonts has grown far beyond the graphic design community, yet few truly understand how and why these vital components of design are created and applied. This exhibition, organized by Monotype and designed by AIGA Medalist and Pentagram partner Abbott Miller for the AIGA National Design Center, celebrates 100 years of type as a constant influence in the world around us.
Gathering rare and unique works from premier archives in the United States and London, “Century” will serve as the hub of a series of presentations, workshops and events held at the AIGA gallery as well as the Type Directors Club and the Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography at Cooper Union in New York City. The “Century” exhibition features a range of artifacts representing the evolution from typeface conception to fonts in use. Typeface production drawings by the preeminent designers of the last 100 years, proofs, type posters and announcement broadsides are supplemented by publications, advertising, ephemera and packaging.
May 6 – August 1, 2014
Ubu Gallery, New York City
Knud Lonberg-Holm: The Invisible Architect, is a debut exhibition devoted to this overlooked, yet highly influential, 20th Century modernist. Never-before-seen photographs, architectural drawings, letters, graphic design, and ephemera from Lonberg-Holm’s remarkably diverse career will be on view. The exhibition, which consists of selections from the extensive archive assembled by architectural historian Marc Dessauce, will solidify the importance of this emblematic figure in early 20th Century cultural and architectural history.
Born in Denmark, Knud Lonberg-Holm (January 15, 1895–January 2, 1972), was an architect, photographer, author, designer, researcher, and teacher. Lonberg-Holm’s early work in Denmark and Germany initially associated him with the Berlin Constructivist and Dutch De Stijl groups. An émigré to America in 1923, Lonberg-Holm was a fundamental correspondent with prominent European architects and their modernist counterparts in the U.S. The exhibition will feature a selection of letters to Lonberg-Holm from a pantheon of the European avant-garde including László Moholy-Nagy, Walter Gropius, Theo Van Doesburg, Buckminster Fuller, Hannes Meyer, J.J.P. Oud, El Lissitzky, and Richard Neutra.
March 20 – April 29, 2014
Print Gallery, Tokyo
This exhibition celebrates the 100th birthday of the Swiss typographer, Emil Ruder (1914–1970); a major contributor to the development of Swiss graphic design and typography. Ruder was a pioneer who devoted himself to modern design, always questioning existing assumptions and conventional rules. Ruder’s works, ranging from postage stamp and books to large posters, will be exhibited, together with written statements from his colleagues and students. His magnum opus ‘Typographie’ published in 1967, can be compared with the 7th edition published in 2001. Also featured will be ‘fundamentals’, lectures from the 1950s, published 2013 in English and Japanese together with the original text in German and in the Ruder layout in the Swiss periodical, Typographische Monatsblätter. His rhythmic use of the printed and unprinted resulted in his timeless works that still inspire contemporary creators and invite them to further discusion. Exhibition organized by Helmut Schmid Design and Print Gallery.
January 23 – March 15, 2014
Galleria Gruppo Credito Valtellinese, Milan
Franco Grignani's path through Italian visual culture in the twentieth century was like the passage of a meteor. He transformed this culture without being transformed in the process. He began as a futurist and ended up “optical”. Between these two extremes is the creation of one of the most famous of all marks, worldwide – the Woolmark. The year was 1963. Italy was experiencing a period of economic boom. Grignani's work as a graphic artist was central to the world, just as Milan was central to the system of production both in Italy and Europe. Grignani's work as a painter was known about, but the art system failed to provide the recognition which he deserved. The community of graphic designers, however, praised him internationally. The struggle against the old bogus distinction between visual and applied arts would provide a stimulus for him in his research, which lasted until his death in Milan in 1999, when the great challenge of sociall-oriented design work also came to an end. His work remains with us. It represents the crystallised part of a greater project and an attempt to provide a demonstration of human perception and its alterations.
May 16 – July 20, 2014
Max Museo, Chiasso
The exhibition (PDF) belongs to the series on “contemporary graphics”, this year devoted to Heinz Waibl (b. 1931, Verona) Graphic Designer. The Creative Journey, one of the protagonists of the debate over visual communication, whose vocabulary through 60 years of continuous activity remains astonishingly relevant. As part of the exhibition, moreover, one room in the m.a.x. museo will be devoted to the graphic design of Max Huber from the fifties to the seventies, when he was in direct contact with Heinz Waibl.
From an early age Waibl had the opportunity to meet and frequent the great masters and absorb their lessons, ranging from the experience of the Bauhaus to the Studio Boggeri, the most illustrious names in Italian design and Max Huber. At the same time, as Dorfles wrote in 2003, “from the earliest works (the Aluminium advertisement for the Magazzini allo Statuto in Rome), it was possible to detect the presence of a desire to “transgress” certain situations, already crystallized, and, on the other hand, not to be “corrupted” by the contemporary “radical” and “ornamental” adventures, which in the meantime had ensnared many local graphic designers”.
Exhibition curated by Alessandro Colizzi and Nicoletta Ossanna Cavadini. The exhibition will also be presented in 2015 at the Centre de Design of the Université du Québec in Montréal (UQAM).
March 15 – July 06, 2014
Museum of Fine Arts (Mary Stamas Gallery), Boston
Innovation and experimentation transformed 20th-century photography. Photographers working in Europe during the period between the two World Wars made some of the most memorable images in the medium’s history. Their goal was to infuse their medium with a fresh and distinctly “modern” style. Influenced by Cubism, Constructivism, Dadaism, and Surrealism, and reflecting the effects that technology, urbanization, and cinema were having on their time, European photographers adopted unconventional and innovative approaches to their image making. Characteristics of their visions include rigorous objectivity, surprising camera angles, and darkroom experimentation. “Photo Eye: Avant-Garde Photography in Europe” charts this shift through the work of artists such as Constantin Brancusi, Ilse Bing, André Kertész, Man Ray, László Moholy-Nagy, and Josef Sudek. Their contributions and those of their peers were central to a transformation in photographic expression in the 20th century.
November 10, 2013 – November 23, 2014
DAM (Denver Art Museum), Denver
Herbert Bayer (1900–1985) spent an artistically fruitful decade in Berlin following his tenure at the Bauhaus. His graphic designs of the time are characterized by inventive integration of typography, photomontage, and graphics. Born of Bayer’s multidisciplinary method, these designs appear fresh, even today.
May 7 – September 9, 2014
Museum für Gestaltung Zürich
Wolfgang Weingart (b. 1941) is regarded as the “enfant terrible” of modern Swiss typography. At an early stage he broke with the established rules: Weingart freed letters from the shackles of the design grid, spaced, underlined or reshaped them and reorganized type-setting. Later he mounted halftone films to form collages, anticipating the digital sampling of the post-modern “New Wave”. As a typography teacher at the Basel School of Design, Weingart shaped several generations of designers from 1968 onwards. They came from throughout the world and helped him achieve international recognition. Weingart’s experimental design approach and the connection between analog and digital techniques that he called for are topical again today. His life’s work is shown for the first time in Switzerland and juxtaposed with works produced through his teaching activity.
February 21 – September 01, 2014
Guggenheim Museum, New York City
The first comprehensive overview of Italian Futurism to be presented in the United States, this multidisciplinary exhibition examines the historical sweep of the movement from its inception with F. T. Marinetti’s Futurist manifesto in 1909 through its demise at the end of World War II. Presenting over 300 works executed between 1909 and 1944, the chronological exhibition encompasses not only painting and sculpture, but also architecture, design, ceramics, fashion, film, photography, advertising, free-form poetry, publications, music, theater, and performance. To convey the myriad artistic languages employed by the Futurists as they evolved over a 35-year period, the exhibition integrates multiple disciplines in each section.
January 24 – May 11, 2014
The Olympic Museum, Lausanne
What was it about sport that so fascinated Russian artists such as Stepanova, Klucis and Rodchenko that it graced their artistic endeavours? This intriguing question is the underlying theme of an exhibition that looks at how sport was portrayed in the Soviet Union in the 1920s and 1930s through the work of avant-garde artists, photographers, graphic designers, film makers and poets.
To address this question, we need to look back to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the birth of a society that aimed to break down barriers of class and privilege, giving everyone access to activities that had previously been out of reach. The fledgling USSR wanted to bring sport to the populace, and mass sports activities were organised in workplaces and schools. Avant-garde artists felt they had a part to play in building this new society. Many films, photos and magazines used sport as a paradigm for their views. What began in Russia led to similar developments in other countries. Applied arts such as photography, film and graphic design began portraying sport, competition, achievement and physical effort in entirely new ways, profoundly changing the way people viewed the body and the human element. The exhibition aims to shed light on these new conceptions by comparing and contrasting a variety of works across time and space.
January 28 – April 7, 2014
Art Institute of Chicago (Ryerson and Burnham Libraries)
In the period between the two world wars, artistic movements in Czechoslovakia produced outstanding examples of avant-garde book cover design, layout, and typography. Czech artists, designers, and architects adopted and developed trends from the avant-garde in other parts of Europe and created what they saw as a new approach to book cover design and typography. Rejecting the bibliophile tradition of book design, these artists sought instead to use avant-garde aesthetics to create simply produced books that could be made available to all. This was not merely an attempt to put modern art on a book cover but rather to rethink the entire aesthetics and so produce a modern book and book cover.
This exhibition covers the work of Czech artists and designers Ladislav Sutnar, Toyen, Jindřich Štyrský, Karel Teige and several others. Many of the designers of these books were members of the Devětsil artist group, which was founded in Prague in 1920. Early on, Devětsil artists began producing “Pictorial Poems” which used the techniques of collage and photomontage to visually recreate the lyricism of poetry and can be seen on the covers of some of their books. These artists also drew from other artistic movements such as Constructivism, Surrealism, and Socialist Realism to create what are often graphically striking designs. The Czech publishing house Odeon, as well as the co-operative publisher Družstevní práce published many of these books.
January 17 – March 29, 2014
GRAD (Gallery for Russian Arts and Design), London
The 1920s saw the advent of new and radical graphic design created to advertise silent films across the Soviet Union. Film posters of this era have become masterpieces in their own right, produced at a time when innovative on-screen techniques were being incorporated into the design of advertisements. Over 30 works by Aleksandr Rodchenko, the brothers Georgii and Vladimir Stenberg, Yakov Ruklevsky, Aleksandr Naumov, Mikhail Dlugach and Nikolai Prusakov, will be on display.
A relatively new art form, film matched the revolutionary ethos of an emerging generation of artists for whom fine art was deemed bourgeois. The advantages of using film as a propaganda tool for the largely illiterate masses were not lost on the government, who supported the burgeoning film industry. A state-controlled organisation, Sovkino, managed the distribution of foreign films, including those from the US which were very popular; profits were used to subsidise domestic film production. Under the umbrella of Sovkino, Reklam Film was the department that controlled the production of film posters across the USSR and at its helm was designer Yakov Ruklevsky, who engaged a number of talented young artists. They created a whole new visual vocabulary for film posters, both foreign and domestic, incorporating the practices they saw on-screen. As the films were black and white, the designers employed their artistic licence to great effect, using vivid colour blocking and dynamic typographical experiments to capture the essence of each production, sometimes without having even seen it.
February 25 – April 17, 2014
Columbia University (Arthur Ross Architecture Gallery), New York City
Messages and Means: Muriel Cooper at MIT is the first exhibition in twenty years dedicated to the work of the profoundly influential graphic designer, teacher, and researcher Muriel Cooper (1925–94). The exhibition assembles documents across a range of media from the four decades of Cooper's pathbreaking career at MIT. Spanning the transition from print technologies, to early explorations of digital typography, to fully evolved information environments, Cooper’s tenure at MIT maps onto one of the most dynamic periods of the school’s technical, conceptual and theoretical development.
As the first Design Director of the MIT Press, Cooper established a comprehensive publishing program and designed books like The Bauhaus (1969) and Learning from Las Vegas (1972). As co-founder of the Visible Language Workshop, she taught experimental printing, tested large-format Polaroid photography, and integrated video systems in MIT's Department of Architecture. And at the MIT Media Lab, she developed some of the earliest computer interfaces and educated a generation of designers. Throughout, her approach remained consistent: creating tools and systems for rapid feedback, dissolving boundaries between design and production, and restlessly seeking out new problems. Messages & Means: Muriel Cooper at MIT, 1954–1994 by David Reinfurt and Robert Wiesenberger (MIT Press, 2016) will be published to coincide with this exhibiton.
January 15 – March 23, 2014
Whitechapel Gallery, London
Hannah Höch (1889–1978) was an artistic and cultural pioneer. A member of Berlin’s Dada movement in the 1920s, she was a driving force in the development of 20th century collage. Splicing together images taken from fashion magazines and illustrated journals, she created a humorous and moving commentary on society during a time of tremendous social change. Höch was admired by contemporaries such as George Grosz, Theo van Doesburg and Kurt Schwitters, yet was often overlooked by traditional art history. As the first major exhibition of her work in Britain, the show puts this inspiring figure in the spotlight.
Bringing together over 100 works from major international collections, the exhibition examines Höch’s extraordinary career from the1910s to the 1970s. Starting with early works influenced by her time working in the fashion industry, it includes key photomontages such as High Finance (1923) which critiques the relationship between bankers and the army at the height of the economic crisis in Europe.
January 23 – March 22, 2014
Gitterman Gallery, New York City
This exhibition explores Herbert Matter's (1907–1984) innovative expression through photography and his vocabulary of abstraction from the late 1930s through the early 1950s. Matter wrote in Arts & Architecture magazine in 1944: “In exploring the various photographic processes themselves, and here lies infinite possibility to control, to liberate, to create visual sensation. Drawing with light, solarization, photograms or other direct impressions on positive or negative material, etc. Indeed with the exploring of these means, photography achieves an independent existence with no need of material from without, providing in itself an endless source of inspiration.”
November 20, 2013 – February 24, 2014
Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum of Design, Berlin
Hebert Bayer (1900–1985) was one of the most creative commercial graphic artists of his period, and was decades ahead of it stylistically. After leaving the Bauhaus in Dessau in 1928, Herbert Bayer continued in Berlin to rigorously pursue the principles of modern graphic art developed at the Bauhaus. Up to the time of his emigration to the USA in 1938, he created hundreds of posters, title pages for books and journals, and commercial adverts and brochures. His clients included companies from the consumer goods industry and publishers, as well as state and semi-state instituitions. Bayer also put his innovative advertising ideas at the service of the Nazi dictators. Seventy-five years after he emigrated, this exhibition offers a critical and comprehensive view of Herbert Bayer’s work from 1928 to 1938. Exhibition photos here.
September 28, 2013 – February 16, 2014
Museum Folkwang, Essen
In addition to book and poster design, the exhibition focuses on a presentation of examples of Wilhelm Deffke’s (1887–1950) progressive logo design. With his abstract style, which he developed in the early 1920s, Deffke anticipated later avantgarde developments of “New Typography” and advertising design at Bauhaus. The show is a collaborative project between Museum Folkwang and the Bröhan Design Foundation, Berlin.
September 21, 2013 – February 16, 2014
Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt
Alexandre Wollner (b. 1928 in São Paulo), is one of the most important and successful graphic designers of the second half of the 20th Century. He played a prominent role in the artistic, cultural and economic foundation of postwar, modern Brazilian design and still has an enormous impact on the design scene in Brazil. Upon returning to Brazil from his studies in Europe, together with Geraldo de Barros and others he inaugurated Form-Inform, the first design consultancy in the country. Despite his great influence and popularity in South America, Wollner remains relatively unknown abroad. This retrospective exhibition – which is accompanied by an extensive publication – provides around 120 works of the designer. The overview focuses on the strong influence of the Ulm School of Design (HfG. Hochschule für Gestaltung), where Wollner was staying 1954-1958, and of European culture on the Brazilian Wollner.
October 03, 2013 – February 10, 2014
Neue Galerie, New York City
The Modern Poster in Germany traces the emergence of the poster as an art form in Germany in the early twentieth century. Over thirty posters from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, including work by Lucian Bernhard, Thomas Theodor Heine, Ludwig Hohlwein, Julius Klinger, Johann Thorn-Prikker, and Oskar Schlemmer, will be shown. Most of the posters in the exhibition have never been displayed at the museum and are rare examples of this vibrant art form.
October 03, 2013 – February 10, 2014
Neue Galerie, New York City
Vasily Kandinsky (1866–1944): From Blaue Reiter to the Bauhaus, 1910-1925, an exhibition of masterworks that explores the development of Kandinsky’s art over a crucial period of time: from the Blaue Reiter period into the pure abstraction and total environments of his Bauhaus years. Connecting art, music, and theater, this gathering of loans from private and public collections traces the evolution of Kandinsky’s concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art. Key works by Kandinsky’s artistic peers, including Albert Bloch, Marcel Breuer, Paul Klee, August Macke, Franz Marc, László Moholy-Nagy, Gabriele Münter, and Marianne von Werefkin will also be on display. Over 80 works comprise this exhibition, including large-scale paintings, rare drawings, and decorative objects.
October 27, 2013 – January 26, 2014
Museum of Design, Atlanta
American designer Paul Rand (1914–1996) defined design as a unified activity, based on analysis and governed by imagination. Throughout his lengthy career – in which he created some of world’s most successful and recognizable logos such as those for IBM, Westinghouse, UPS, and ABC – his design work was governed by fundamental principles that he identified in his writings, such as beauty, intelligence, repetition, symbol, and humor.
Paul Rand: Defining Design will examine the trajectory of Rand’s career in an entirely new way, juxtaposing his iconic designs with discussion of the design principles by which they were informed. In addition, short films, interviews, and examples of Rand’s persuasive writings will further illuminate this legendary designer’s thoughts on the design process. The exhibition is curated by Daniel Lewandowski, creator of the website www.Paul-Rand.com.
November 14, 2013 – January 19, 2014
Architecture and Design Museum, Los Angeles
For Armin Hofmann (born 1920), lecturing at design schools and working as a freelance graphic artist went hand in hand: his activities as an educator invariably provided inspiration for his own work. Rather than a doctrinaire approach, Hofmann’s teaching style centered on the students’ engagement with their own experiences and abilities, so enabling them to hone their individual perception of design issues.
During his many years as a teacher at various institutions across the world, including the Basel School of Design in Switzerland and the Yale University School of Art, Hofmann accumulated a treasure-trove of experiences and findings on the subject of color. Following his retirement, he produced 20 silkscreen portfolios, each containing 12 compositions. One of these portfolios and 16 studies for the prints will constitute the major portion of Farbe/Color.
April 18, 2013 – January, 2014
SIP (Shpilman Institute for Photography), Tel Aviv-Jaffa
The exhibition “The Naked Eye” presents rare examples of Surrealist photography in the first half of the 20th century from the collection of the SIP and the collection of the Israel Museum, Jerusalem. Surrealism rejected the old artistic-cultural order and strove to shatter the orders of bourgeois society by laying bare the depths of the human soul and liberating man‘s innermost urges and aspirations. In an attempt to introduce a stratified platform for new aesthetic perceptions, Surrealist photography strove to present a different reality and undermine the perception of “direct vision” by creating imaginary, fantastical, dreamlike images.
The first part of the exhibition focuses on Surrealist thought as manifested in photography: “the eye,” “the coveted woman,” “the doll,” “the mannequin,” “nightmarish/dream images,” etc. Another part of the exhibition engages in Surrealist cinema. Special place is dedicated to the photographs by Man Ray, the father of Surrealist photography, presented alongside works by the movement’s artists, including Dora Maar, Paul Éluard, Claude Cahun, Hans Bellmer, and other photographers who were influenced by the ideas of the Surrealists in those years and operated elsewhere in Europe and the United States.
October 24 – December 7, 2013
Higher Pictures, New York City
Higher Pictures presents Mercedes 1940, by Herbert Matter (1907–1984). This is the first New York solo exhibition of Herbert Matter in over a decade. The exhibition consists of eleven vintage silver gelatin photographs of Mercedes Carles (1913–2001) by Herbert Matter, made in the summer before they married. Matter’s intimate portraits of Mercedes are the visual results of a thrilling act by an artist and lover, a dance of seduction with the camera, Mercedes’ energy and allure. Introduced in 1938 by Fernand Léger, the pair became one of the most powerful and influential art world couples of the 20th century. Throughout their sixty-year marriage, their close friends and associates included Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Fernand Léger, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, Charles and Ray Eames, Buckminster Fuller and fellow Swiss photographer Robert Frank.
A pioneering figure in photography, Swiss-born Herbert Matter came to the United States in 1935. Matter was inspired by the Russian Constructivists and Man Ray and was the rare figure who bridged the commercial arts and fine arts. It is noted that his light drawings anticipated Abstract Expressionism and indeed may have influenced his friend Jackson Pollock. He employed all manner of darkroom techniques to create his photographs, including collage, montage, solarization, reverse printing, retouching, cropping, and re-photographing.
November 01 – 26, 2013
Ginza Graphic Gallery (GGG), Tokyo
At the start of the twentieth century, a time when the rapid pace of technological innovation also brought a search for a suitably matching style, it was not only politics and society that underwent drastic change but also the lives and ideologies of individuals. Typography was no exception. It was in this context that the new typography movement was born―an effort to aim for an efficient typography suited for conveying dynamic information in the machine age. Jan Tschichold (1902–1974) advanced the theory and practice of this “New Typography” throughout the 1920s as the movement’s standard-bearer. Eventually he came to reject its tenets and to espouse instead the value of traditional typography.
Tschichold moved to England after the war and took on the enormous task of improving the typography and design of Penguin Books. The changes made under his direction raised the overall level of book design in England and showed the entire world how important typography was in books. One of the giants of twentieth-century typography, Jan Tschichold not only left behind outstanding designs but also authored many books.
September 09 – November 25, 2013
Pratt GradComD Gallery, New York City
Collections tell stories. From the experimental to the playful to the rational, Collecting History, Collecting Design shows a distinct point-of-view about mid 20th century graphic design and some of its pioneers working in the United States, Italy, and Switzerland–when Modernism’s distinctive graphic language emerged as an integral part of mass culture, from advertising and publicity to corporate identity.
This unique collection of over 150 works from Display, Graphic Design Collection highlights important building blocks of graphic design’s historical record featuring the varied and unique styles and sensibilities of the work of lesser-known designers and the lesser-known work of well-known design pioneers. As collectors, owning the objects falls short–it’s about what they can teach us and how they help us see. The histories embedded in these artifacts take us back to a time when graphic design was a primary force in the dissemination of post-war, late Modernism.
One of the primary responsibilities of owning a collection is conducting research about the objects and finding out how they can far exceed their role as inspirational eye candy. The collection is a valuable tool to our design practice, education and writing. As designers, we can improve and inform our practice by having a sense of graphic design history.
October 15 – November 15, 2013
Yuchengo Museum, Manila
From 1953 through 1968, the Ulm School of Design was one of the most important contemporary design schools, attracting students from all over the world. The idea originally came from Inge Scholl (the sister of Hans and Sophie Scholl, resistance fighters executed by the Nazis) and the Ulm graphic designer Otl Aicher. Max Bill, the Swiss Bauhaus graduate and acclaimed architect, joined the founding team in 1949. He became the school’s first rector in 1953. As well as Max Bill and Otl Aicher, renowned persons such as Max Bense, Gui Bonsiepe, Hans Gugelot, Tomas Maldonado, Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart, and Alexander Kluge were faculty members.
Guest lecturers came from all over the world. The students first took a one-year Foundation Course before moving on to the individual departments: Visual Communication, Industrial Design, Industrialized Building, Information, and Film. The exhibition focuses on the “Ulm model,” formulated by the Ulm School of Design as a new approach to finding solutions in questions of design. Ulmer Modelle is an international touring exhibition presented by the Yuchengco Museum and the Goethe-Institut Manila.
August 09 – September 29, 2013
Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Chicago
In 1937 the Chicago Association of Art and Industry invited László Moholy-Nagy to head what was to be called the New Bauhaus, four years after the Bauhaus in Berlin was dissolved in 1933 under National Socialist pressure. László Moholy-Nagy had been a Bauhaus Master from 1923-1928 in Weimar and Dessau. His teaching as well as his own diverse creative work, were characterized by a unique innovative and experimental approach to the arts.
The exhibit will showcase art and design by students of Moholy-Nagy’s schools from 1937-1955: the New Bauhaus, School of Design in Chicago and Institute of Design – with special emphasis on the Foundation Course exercises. In addition, life work of both teachers and students will be shown, from 1937 to the present. Representing more than sixty individuals, the vast majority of the exhibit is work that has never before been seen.
May 25 – July 23, 2013
Max Museo, Chiasso
The exhibition presented at the m.a.x. museo forms part of the strand of contemporary graphics and offers a close-up view of the distinctive output of the youthful activity of Lora Lamm in Milan in the postwar period. Known principally to specialists and not at all to the general public, the graphic designer Lora Lamm actually brought about major innovations in the field of graphic design during the 50s and 60s. Her strong communication skills, pleasing and delicate colours and the striking lightness of her line accompanied by the simplicity of the drawn shapes helped to create a new way of thinking about communication in advertising.
Born (1928) at Arosa in the canton of Grisons and a graduate of the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich, Lora Lamm moved to Milan in 1953 to work in the important Boggeri office, where Xanti Schawinsky, Max Huber, Carlo Vivarelli, Walter Ballmer, Aldo Calabresi and Bruno Monguzzi, among others, had all worked at various times. In 1954, through her contacts with Max Huber, she entered the creative office of La Rinascente, where she was in charge of the coordinated graphics of its catalogues, posters, advertisements, invitations, mailing packaging and promoting the new products of this leading department store. Lora Lamm made a deep imprint on the design of post-war graphics with her “joyful and extravagant” posters, in which she sometimes used photographs or stills. This the exhibition at the m.a.x. museo is the first to focus on the Milan period and will include more than a hundred exhibits, including posters, invitations, letterheads, flyers, placards and preparatory sketches thanks to collaboration with the Museum für Gestaltung in Zurich and the Boggeri Archive.
Photo by Stefano Galli.