30 May 2012
USA, Italy and Switzerland 1934–66
June 4–July 26, 2012
Fordham University at Lincoln Center
Center Gallery 113 West 60th Street
New York, NY 10023 map
Gallery Hours: Everyday, 10am to 6pm (sometimes later)
Download the PDF checklist of items included in the exhibition.
Modernism, an ideology that covers a range of styles, is rooted in the Russian and European avant-garde including Constructivism, Dada, De Stijl, Futurism, and the New Typography – movements which signaled a modernization of culture and society beginning in the early 20th century. Artists and designers made a conscious effort to reject ornamentation and historical styles, and instead chose to embrace abstract principles, clear communication, geometric forms and visual experimentation. graphic Modern presents Graphic Design as a fundamental component of the dissemination of early to late Modernism throughout the United States, Italy and Switzerland from the late 1930s to the middle of the 1960s. During these years, Modernism’s distinctive graphic languages moved away from its political beginnings and emerged as an integral part of mass culture, extending from advertising and printed ephemera to corporate identity.
Bringing together over 75 works from Display, Graphic Design Collection, graphic Modern serves as an overview of this important period of design and features advertisements, periodical covers, posters and ephemera examples from design pioneers including: Herbert Bayer, Lester Beall, Robert Büchler, Confalonieri e Negri, Alan Fletcher, Karl Gerstner (Gerstner + Kutter), William Golden, Carl Graf, Franco Grignani, Max Huber, Lora Lamm, Matthew Leibowitz, Alvin Lustig, Herbert Matter, Fridolin Müller, Remo Muratore, Hans Neuburg, Erik Nitsche, Bob Noorda, Sigfried Odermatt, Giovanni Pintori, Paul Rand, Emil Ruder, Studio Boggeri, Albe Steiner, Ladislav Sutnar, Fred Troller, Massimo Vignelli, Carlo Vivarelli and Yves Zimmermann among others. The varied and unique styles and sensibilities of these designers are the foundation for the visual language of today and presumably, tomorrow. From the experimental to the playful to the rational, Modernism’s strong idealism is a testament to its vitality and long standing. graphic Modern is a unique opportunity to view such a varied collection of items, many rarely exhibited in the United States.
graphic Modern is curated by Patricia Belen and Greg D’Onofrio – designers, writers and partners at Kind Company, an independent design office in New York City. Display, the website they founded in 2009, is a platform for research, writing and discoveries in graphic design history.