Cyan, Form & Zweck, DE 1995
M/M (Paris), Iphigénie en Aulide, FR 2001
Werner Jeker, Cinémathèque Suisse, CH 1984
Michal Batory, Medea, FR 2003
"Photo Graphics – Posters since 1995"
April 9- July 20, 2008, Plakatraum
Modernism in graphic design was introduced in the late 1920s through the effective combination of photography, graphics and typography. The exhibition in the Plakatraum deliberately does not concentrate on the major names from the past but instead enquires how these same elements are used today.
This presentation of the work of eight designers and studios illustrates a broad stylistic spectrum created by the combination of photographic material and lettering. The works by Michael Batory, Cyan, Werner Jeker, M/M, Gerwin Schmidt, Skolos/Wedell, Leonardo Sonnoli, and Tschumi/King clearly show that different ideas about images lead to very different uses of photographic material. The selected works also reveal very different approaches to obtaining images: image recycling using some of the limitless images available today, snapshots produced by the designers themselves, processing existing photographic originals, or photographs that are produced especially for a poster and a design idea not only reflect the manifold possibilities but also represent different intellectual approaches.
The use of typography is similarly varied. Whereas some designers deliberately restrict themselves to a limited typographical repertoire, for others the design of new expressive lettering that itself becomes an image is the central theme. Dialogues develop between individual works that are based on related approaches. Nevertheless, each position also represents an independent design intervention. They all have in common an interest in continuously exploring the relationship between harmony and tension and in producing an intellectual and emotional in-between space that the viewer can then fill.
The powerful historical photo poster stands as a legacy in the background. But whether they consciously use this model or clearly establish a distance to it, all the posters that today combine photography, typography and graphic design never convey a sense of nostalgic conservation but a vital and unpretentious contemporary quality.
For more information please visit: The Museum für Gestaltung Zürich