Happenings

Herbert Bayer’s Werbegrafik

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The Bauhaus Archive Berlin’s current exhibit Mein Reklame-Fegefeuer. Herbert Bayer. Werbegrafik 1928-1938 offers a view of the iconic graphic designer’s commercial work during the tumultuous years of transition from the Weimar Republic to the Third Reich. Bayer is best known for the geometric sans-serif typeface he designed in 1925 for the Bauhaus school’s communications. After leaving the Bauhaus Dessau in 1928, Bayer moved to Berlin and applied his radical principles of modern graphic art in designs for hundreds of posters, book covers, advertisements, and brochures for both the private and public sector. The show illustrates Bayer’s controversial post-Bauhaus output with 200 works that are on display until February 24.

Image via Cea.

Bookshelf: What We’re Reading

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Released this week, Marcel Wanders: Pinned Up chronicles twenty-five years of iconic designs from the visionary Dutch designer. Published in conjunction with an extensive exhibit of his work at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the book goes beyond beautiful images with interviews, analysis, and essays. A new online magazine, theTwentySIX, has former interior designer Brandon A. Smith at the helm. Smith describes the publication’s content as “Vogue meets Dwell” and will feature interviews and insights from creatives across the design spectrum.

The Art of Cuisine

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This month New York City’s The Drawing Center exhibits sketches by famed chef Ferran Adria formerly of the world renowned restaurant El Bulli. Ferran Adria: Notes on Creativity sheds light on the chef’s creative process offering glimpses into his conceptualization of dishes that often employ molecular gastronomy and other nontraditional food preparations. The Drawing Center’s Executive Director, Brett Littman, witnessed Adria’s creative genius during an eight-hour meal at El Bulli in 2010 and was so captivated by the experience that he reached out to Adria in hopes of exhibiting his work on paper. Adria’s models, diagrams, and sketches take the viewer through the journey of his fanciful dishes, from initial brainstorm to final plating instructions for his artfully arranged cuisine. On view through February 28.

Image via The Drawing Center

Everyday Objects

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Two upcoming exhibits take a closer look at the objects that populate our world. Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) will present Hidden Heroes: The Genius of Everyday Things organized by the Vitra Design Museum. Opening on February 23, the show focuses its lens on the ordinary, often overlooked, objects that have become indispensable to our daily lives. The exhibit highlights four aspects of design: innovation, production, evolution, and inspiration. The Design Museum London has collaborated with renowned design duo Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby to capture the essence of objects through their display mid-manufacture. Some extravagant, others prosaic, the items including a cricket bat, coin, diamond, and banknote were all chosen due to the surprising form they take before completion. In the Making will be on display until May 4.

Image via MODA

Shedding Light on Global Issues

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To raise awareness of the daily challenges faced by 1.3 billion people without electricity, ‘Cut out the Darkness’ asks participants to design a lantern shade. 100 of these designs will be chosen, fabricated and delivered to non-electrified areas worldwide, as an alternative to CO2 kerosene lamps. Other socially-conscious case studies are featured on the Design for Good platform on the AIGA website, which is celebrating its 100 year anniversary this year.

Visual Messages

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This January, the London College of Communication is staging an exhibition of the acclaimed poster art of Tom Eckersley entitled Tom Eckersley: Master of the Poster. Eckersley was responsible for creating the school of graphic design at the London School of Printing (LSP) and the bold colors and clean lines found in his public information posters influenced the campaigns of organizations from Guinness to the United Nations. The show displays 40 posters made between 1940 and 1980, in addition to sketches and other materials created for the LSP. Catch the show before it closes January 29.

The Imaginarium

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This winter, London department store Selfridges has planned a series of installations, lectures, debates, and workshops for their Festival of Imagination. The store commissioned Rem Koolhaas to design the festival’s hub, a sleek contemporary amphitheater. Meanwhile, concept stores have been transformed into “imagine shops” and avant-garde fashion designer Gareth Pugh’s MONOLITH installation takes viewers on a scintillating journey into his visual world. The immersive experience envelopes the viewer in monochromatic cityscapes, stark geometry, and ethereal sounds. Through February 22.

Image via Dezeen

Olympic Design

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With the Winter Olympics fast approaching, many designers and artists are working on projects to make the games more visually engaging and inclusive. One recently-announced project is the MegaFaces Pavilion, which uses three-dimensional photo booth to scan visitor’s portraits and recreate them in a sculptural form. “The concept,” by Asif Khan “is to give everyone the opportunity to be the face of the Olympics.” And if you are looking for a retrospective on design from the games, the Olympic Museum in Switzerland has just re-opened after renovations. To celebrate, the museum commissioned a new collection of souvenirs (pictured above).

Deconstructed Dutch Portraiture

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In American artist Michael Mapes riveting new work, he painstakingly assembles facsimiles of portraits painted by Dutch masters including Rembrandt and Nicolaes Eliaz Pickenoy. Hundreds of specimens – photos, hair, insect pins, gelatin capsules, glass vials, magnifying glasses, and sequins are meticulously arranged by shape and shade to create images that at a distance possesses uncanny likeness to the 350 year-old originals. The fanciful assemblages are evidence that artistic interpretation knows no bounds. Three of the pieces will be shown at Yellowstone Art Museum’s ‘Face to Face’ exhibit debuting March 2014.

Image via Designboom

Fantastical Art at The Groninger

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Contemporary artist Jaime Hayan’s first major solo exhibit, Funtastico, opens at The Groninger Museum in The Netherlands. A multimedia virtuoso, Spanish-born Hayon employs ceramics, wood, glass, and textiles in his 3-dimensional art objects. The exhibit documents the trajectory of his career– from experimental glasswork made in collaboration with French crystal manufacturer Baccarat, to clown-inspired lamps and vases, to oversized ceramic chess pieces in his installation ‘The Tournament.’ In concert, Hayon’s pieces creates a whimsical and humorous play land inciting contemplation and laughter (at objects like the absurd ‘rockin’ hot dog’ chair) and captivating the minds of young and old alike.

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