Poster for Mademoiselle (1970) by Franciszek Starowieyski.
Work has cranked into overdrive this week so posting will no doubt be minimal until some semblance of normality is restored. I can however mention two essential exhibitions which will be running through the forthcoming months.
Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design at the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Czech Republic, is curated by design writer Rick Poynor and runs to 24 October, 2010. On display is an intriguing mix of work from familiar names such as Jan Švankmajer and Eva Švankmajerová, poster artist Franciszek Starowieyski, graphic designers Vaughan Oliver and Stefan Sagmeister, and many others.
Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design uncovers the presence of an alternative tradition in graphic design. The Surrealist movement of the 1920s and 1930s focused on literature, painting, photography and the object, and the Surrealists’ publishing activities provided only hints of what a fully conceived Surrealist graphic design or typography might look like. Many of the most suggestive early examples came from Czechoslovakia, where Surrealism would become a lasting influence. Subsequently, Surrealist ideas and images had a profound impact on image-makers in every sphere of art and design, and by the 1960s the effects of Surrealism were widely felt in international graphic communication. Uncanny traces this intermittent line of development up to the present.
There’s further information at the gallery site including a page of related works.
And launching later in the year is Process: The Working Practices of Barney Bubbles, a very timely exhibition of the designer’s work at Chelsea Space, London. Bubbles biographer Paul Gorman is the curator and the event will also see the launch of a second edition of his study of Barney’s life and work, Reasons To Be Cheerful.
The show will contain many never-before-seen items drawn from private collections, including student notebooks, working sketches, original artwork, paintings, books and photography. These were the raw material for videos, record sleeves, t-shirts and posters created by Bubbles for such performers as Ian Dury, Hawkwind, Elvis Costello, The Damned and Billy Bragg (who is contributing a one-off rug with a rendition of the designer’s Masereel-quoting cover for his album Brewing Up With).
Process opens on September 14 and will run to October 23, 2010.