The Swiss Poster: Art of Ten Masters
Armin Hofmann : Melchior Imboden : Jean Benoît Lévy : Bruno Monguzzi
Josef Müller-Brockmann : Ralph Schraivogel : Rosemarie Tissi
Niklaus Troxler : Wolfgang Weingart : Cornel Windlin
February 5 - March 28, 2002
Emily Lowe Gallery
Bez Ocko, Guest Curator
Assistant Professor, Fine Arts, Art History and Graduate Humanities Department
The Hofstra Museum at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY presents The Swiss Poster: Art of Ten Masters featuring 41 posters by 10 internationally acclaimed Swiss graphic designers. The exhibition presents uniformly large works that represent many of the most exciting examples of Swiss poster design over the last 45 years. Among them are iconic examples of the Swiss International Style of the 1950s and 1960s, developed after World War II and adopted internationally as a universal language of visual communication, as well as more recent posters distinguished as innovative landmarks. The works are drawn from the noted Swiss poster collection of designer Tom Strong.
In some of The Swiss Poster's earliest works, Armin Hofmann pioneers the Basel school's contribution to post-war Swiss graphic design, using stark black-and-white photography, typographic restraint and a master's exceptional sensitivity to graphic space. Wolfgang Weingart's candy-like colors, typographic experiments and layered weaving of word and image extend the boundaries of International School formalism. Post-Weingart designers such as Ralph Schraivogel and Jean Benoît Lévy play intuitively with a mix of photography and typography to produce expressive works densely charged with visual texture and opposing formal tensions. The most recent posters on display include 30 Years, Melchior Imboden's monumental typographic abstraction celebrating the 1997 anniversary of an annual art event and Cornel Windlin's 1999 Swiss Highways, a surreal photographic expanse of road and sky punctuated with a violent typographic collision.
Other designers in the exhibition are Bruno Monguzzi, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Rosemarie Tissi and Niklaus Troxler. Their works present design approaches ranging from bold use of scale and space to the search for both universal and personal symbols, to finessed synthesis of type and image, as well as a myriad of other techniques reflecting transformations in culture and technology and above all, the keenness of artistic intelligence made visible through the mastery of craft. Many of the posters in the exhibition have won major Swiss and international competitions.
Click here to view individual posters.
Click here to see additional views of the exhibition.