Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Welt aus Schrift

Ludwig Sütterlin, 1901

Ivan Jacovlevič Bilibin, 1904

Henry van de Velde, 1898

Koloman Moser, 1902

Peter Behrens, 1907

Julius Maria Luthmann, 1925; Hendrikus Theodorus Wijdeveld, 1925

Enrico Prampolini, 1922

Roman Cieślewicz, 1978

Ott + Stein, 1990

Karel Mišek, 1999

A few favourites from the (German language) catalogue of a wonderful exhibition at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, World as Words: The 20th Century in Europe and the USA. Unfortunately my German is rusty to say the least, and there wasn't much in the way of information in the exhibition itself so I can't tell you a great deal more, but many of the names will be familiar to anyone with more than a passing interest in design.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Ryszard Kaja

The second of my Polish poster purchases was a recent one by Ryszard Kaja for the Polish Aviation Museum. Again you can find more of his work on the Pigasus website as well as the Polish Posters Shop, and there's some information on his set designs here.

Bolesław Polnar

On a visit to Berlin last week I picked up a couple of posters from the marvellous Pigasus Gallery, including the one above by Bolesław Polnar. You can see more of his designs at Pigasus and at Polnar's website, which also has several examples of his paintings.

Friday, 12 November 2010

A Humument

When I interviewed John Coulthart a few months back, he drew my attention to his post on an artist of whom I was only vaguely aware and had been meaning to investigate further, Tom Phillips.

The cover of Brian Eno's album Another Green World has a detail of a painting by Phillips, After Raphael (1972), and Eno's Thursday Afternoon also uses a piece by the artist (with design by Russell Mills). Phillips taught Eno at the Ipswich School of Art.

At the moment I'm reading the fourth edition of Phillips' "treated Victorian novel", A Humument. Taking a forgotten 1892 novel by W.H. Mallock, A Human Document, he

plundered, mined and undermined its text to make it yield the ghosts of other possible stories, scenes, poems, erotic incidents and surrealist catastrophes which seemed to lurk within its wall of words. As I worked on it, I replaced the the text I'd stripped away with visual images of all kinds. I began to tell and depict, among other memories, dreams and reflections, the sad story of Bill Toge, one of love's casualties.

It's an astonishing work, and far funnier than you might think such an exercise could be. First published in 1980, A Humument is still a work in progress, with constant updates and revisions. More than half the pages in the fourth edition have been altered since the first, which you can see in its entirety at humument.com.

More on Phillips: his official website and blog; Wikipedia; 1, 2, 3 posts at {Feuilleton}.

Tom Phillips, Mythology, 1976

Tom Phillips, Grand Sonata, 1967

Monday, 8 November 2010

Kazumasa Nagai

Posters - at least I think most of these are posters - by the Japanese designer Kazumasa Nagai (b.1929). Next to no info to be found, but there are many more of his spectacular visions to be seen at Pink Tentacle, Animalarium, MoMA and Flickr.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Amano Kunihiro

Prints by Amano Kunihiro (b.1929). Made In Japan: The Postwar Creative Print Movement has a very short biography:

Largely self-taught in the art of woodblock printing, Amano attended classes at Musashino University of Art, Tokyo, for three years during the postwar period. He began showing his woodblock prints with the Japan Print Association in 1955 and soon found success in international exhibitions. Incorporating the wood grain and using a special palette of oil pigments, Amano approaches abstraction without sacrificing naturalism.

More: 1, 2, 3, 4, plus one in this post from last year.