show

Rick Poynor
Illustrations by Bohumil Štěpán for Crazy Fairy Tales
12.11.14

Another look at Bohumil Štěpán’s whimsical absurdism

Laura Tarrish
Hunter | Gatherer: Illustrator Sketchbooks, Pt. III
11.11.14

An interview with the artist known as August Wren

Michael Bierut + Jessica Helfand
The Observatory: Epidemics and Theater
John Foster
Reflections in a Golden Eye
10.10.14

The optics- and vision-centered work of Harris Diamant

Laura Tarrish
Hunter | Gatherer: James Castle
09.24.14

The outsider artist James Castle is the subject of two current exhibitions and a favorite of Laura Tarrish

John Foster
Focusing on the Masters
09.19.14

A new approach to portraiture: John Foster on the Miaz Brothers

John Foster
Rabanus Maurus: Poems of the Cross
09.12.14

Mathematical and geometric visual poems from a Benedictine abbot.

Laura Tarrish
Hunter | Gatherer: The House
Adam Harrison Levy
An Interview with Picasso
09.04.14

On a Saturday morning in 1945 a young American soldier named Jerome Seckler climbed three flights of stairs to Pablo Picasso’s studio with the goal of being enlightened.

Observed
Digital Ethereal
08.20.14

Luis Hernan’s Invisible Landscape of Wireless Networks

Sara Jamshidi
Black Hand: Iranian Banksy?
07.31.14

Black Hand is one of the numerous underground artists in Iran and his exhibition is neither the first nor the last underground exhibition.

Sam Jacob
Daniel Weil: Timeless
07.24.14

Daniel Weil's clocks might tell the time, but that’s not their real job.

John Foster
Shadwell Shams: A Tale of Two Forgers
07.11.14

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

Jennifer Kabat
Exhibition as Inquiry: An Interview with Kieran Long
07.03.14

Guns, shoes and cheap jeans: Kieran Long has added all of these to the Victoria & Albert Museum’s permanent collection.

Véronique Vienne
Two Monumental Shows in Paris: One Large, One Small
07.01.14

There are two shows you shouldn’t miss if you happen to be in Paris this summer.

Inkahoots
Black, Red + Gold
Adam Harrison Levy
Jeff Koons’s Studio: An ER Room for Art
06.27.14

Walking into Jeff Koons’s studio is like entering a medical laboratory crossed with an open plan office. It’s an ER room for art.

John Foster
Magic and Mystery in the Art of Katrien De Blauwer
06.22.14

Katrien De Blauwer's work is infused with psychological overtones — like viewing two or three frames from a film noir movie, only reassembled into something even more mysterious.

Rick Poynor
The Body as Factory: Anatomy of an Image
06.11.14

Peeling back the skin of a New Scientist cover illustration by Nichola Bruce and Michael Coulson.

Adam Plunkett
On Sylvia Plath’s Drawings
06.04.14

The drawings of Sylvia Plath cause our poetry editor, Adam Plunkett, to revisit her poetry.

John Foster
Interview with Artist Henrik Drescher
Rick Poynor
Rediscovering the Lost Art of the Typewriter
John Foster
Exploring Art Environments
Véronique Vienne
Image Making, Reclaimed
05.22.14

Etienne Hervy, art director of the International Graphic Design Festival in Chaumont, France, asked a painter, not a graphic designer, to create a pair of posters for this year’s event.

Observed
More Botany
05.19.14

Avery Thatcher is one of the emerging designers from the oft-lauded creative class in Portland, Oregon.

Debbie Millman
Brian Singer
John Foster
Our Shared Past
Laura Tarrish
Hunter | Gatherer: Botanicals
05.15.14

Each of us has a connection to nature — a primal response to certain landscapes — yet we don’t always use it as raw material for our own work.

Debbie Millman
Rachel Sussman
Alex Knowlton
Miami Nice
Observed
Tiny PMS Match
04.22.14

Designer Inka Mathew is matching tiny objects to Pantone colors.

Rick Poynor
The Conceptual Advertising of J.G. Ballard
Observed
Glaser Goes Psychedelic
04.11.14

If you're watching the premier of Mad Men this Sunday, you may notice some familiar-ish graphics. That's because the key art for Season 7 was created by Milton Glaser, based on some of the work he became known for in the 1960's and 70's, now frequently described as 'psychedelia'.

Adam Plunkett
How to Visualize Poetry — And How Not to
John Foster
Found, Cut, and Rearranged: The Art of John Stezaker
04.06.14

For almost four decades, the artist John Stezaker has been appropriating “found” photographs and focusing on a new way of seeing.

Jess
An Aposiopesis of Black Honey: or Variations on Dürer’s Melancholia I
Observed
Inge Druckrey + Sister Corita Kent on Film
Debbie Millman
Jonathan Harris
Observed
A Love Letter to the City
John Foster
The Essence of a Teapot
03.16.14

While the traditional teapot should be at the very least functional — that is, have the ability to hold and pour a liquid, I recently viewed an exhibition that turns all that on end with the “idea of a teapot.”

Adam Harrison Levy
Artist’s Cookbook: David Levinthal
Jennifer Kabat
Genzken and the City
Adam Harrison Levy
Artist’s Cookbook: Kiki Smith
02.26.14

Kiki Smith takes the body and turns it inside out. She makes art from innards. But she eats salad.

John Foster
Face Time
Rick Poynor
From the Archive: Surface Wreckage
John Foster
The Private World of Martina Kubelk
02.09.14

A photo album containing 99 pages and over 380 photographs; self-portraits of a man in women’s clothes.

Rick Poynor
Why Tatlin Can Never Go Home Again
Observed
Craft, Art + Design Oral History Project
02.04.14

The Bard Graduate Center Craft, Art & Design Oral History Project is admirably ambitious.

John Foster
Imperfect Beauty
Observed
50 Years of Cuban Film Posters
01.23.14

The Danish Film Institute has posted their collection of Cuban Film Posters from the past 50 years or more on Flickr.

John Thackara
Conflict and Design
01.22.14

A review of the design triennial in Belgium on the theme of Conflict and Design.

Observed
A Secret Art Show Inside a Condemned NYC Apartment Building
01.21.14

The show, called Surplus Candy, was the brainchild of street artist Hanksy.

John Foster
The Renewed Art of Embroidered Photographs
01.19.14

Few creative things today are truly new — it's the work that builds on, pushes forward and continues to invent that gets noticed.

Observed
These Collages Blur the Lines of Reality
01.14.14

Daniel Gordon is an artist and author living and working in Brooklyn. His work is the subject of three booksand a profile this week on Wired.

Rick Poynor
Martin Sharp: People, Politics and Pop
01.03.14

Martin Sharp rediscovered: drawings and collages from the book People, Politics and Pop: Australians in the Sixties.

John Foster
From Russia With Doubt
12.29.13

From Russia with Doubt is the true story about brothers Ron and Roger Pollard, two amateur collectors who enjoyed going to flea markets and estate sales, picking up objects, paintings — anything they happened to like.

Observed
A Sculpture on the Moon
12.27.13

Slate has a fascinating article about artist Paul van Hoeydonck and his three-and-a-half inch scultpure, Fallen Astronaut that was (and still is) exhibited on the moon.

Michael Bierut
And May All Your Christmases Be Carefully Staged So As To Appear White
Observed
Fairy Tale Architecture
12.24.13

A roundup of our holiday Fairy Tale Architecture posts.

Observed
Painting on Black Velvet
12.18.13

Collector's Weekly has a wonderful homage to the "the paintings the art world loves to hate", those on black velvet.
Adam Harrison Levy
Artist’s Cookbook: Joel Meyerowitz
Rick Poynor
Martin Sharp: From Satire to Psychedelia
Adam Harrison Levy
Artist’s Cookbook: April Gornik
12.03.13

Artist April Gornik taught herself to cook from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Megan Whitmarsh
Megan Whitmarsh on Originality
11.29.13

On this episode of Insights Per Minute Megan Whitmarsh considers originality.

Adam Harrison Levy
Saul Leiter: Remembered
Adam Harrison Levy
Artist’s Cookbook: Alex Katz
Debbie Millman
Terry Teachout
11.25.13

Terry Teachout discusses the early days of blogging, the poetics of theater and what it's like to be a drama critic for The Wall Street Journal.

Alexandra Lange
Art On Campus
11.18.13

A review of the renovated Blaffer Art Museum and James Turrell's latest skyspace, "Twilight Epiphany."

Rick Poynor
Collage Culture: Nostalgia and Critique
11.11.13

An interview with David Banash, author of Collage Culture: Readymades, Meaning, and the Age of Consumption.

John Foster
Extraordinary Spanish Art Environments
11.10.13

Jo Farb Hernández spent close to fourteen years surveying the elaborate fanciful worlds, idiosyncratic sculptures and unique visionary creations of 45 self-taught Spanish artists.

John Foster
Asemic Writing: Open to Interpretation
10.20.13

Michael Jacobson’s Gallery of Asemic Writing is a website repository for international artists, writers, readers and viewers.

Observed
The Way of Chopsticks
10.18.13

The Way of Chopsticks explores Song Dong and Yin Xiuzhen's memories of growing up in Communist China and juxtaposes those hardships with their bilingual 11-year-old daughter's very different, very contemporary upbringing.

Observed
Possession
10.17.13

Someguy, also known as Brian Singer, is a San Francisco based fine artistand graphic designer. His most recent work — Possession — is a screen print on uncut dollars.

Rick Poynor
From the Archive: Brian Eno, Artist of Light
Rick Poynor
New York: City of Spectacular Doors
John Foster
The Open Eye: The Home Collection of Ray Yoshida
09.29.13

Accidental Mysteries for September 29, 2013 focuses on the vast home collection of Chicago artist and teacher Ray Yoshida.

Observed
Seven Fantastic Vintage Anatomy Drawings
09.25.13

Popular Science's gallery of seven of the most fantastic anatomy drawings from the Middle Ages.

John Foster
Barkcloth Art of the Omie
09.22.13

Accidental Mysteries for September 22 focuses on art of the Ömie people of New Guinea — powerful, graphic works on barkcloth that they call nioge.

Roshanak Keyghobadi
Composing in Space: Tactile Poetry of Farhad Fozouni
09.20.13

A review of work by Iranian graphic designer Farhad Fozouni.

Rick Poynor
Bohumil Stepan’s Family Album of Oddities
John Foster
Artful Mourning
09.15.13

The art of mourning in Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries: a look at post-mortem and memorial photographs and memorabilia.

Rick Poynor
Bohumil Stepan’s Gallery of Erotic Humor
John Foster
Signs of Labor
Observed
The Art Toast Project
08.26.13

Culinary innovator Ida Frosk depicts the works of famous cultural icons on pieces of toast.

Rick Poynor
Collage Now, Part 1: Sergei Sviatchenko
Rick Poynor
Collage Now, Part 2: Cut and Paste Culture
John Foster
Stitching Stories
Rick Poynor
David Maisel and the Apocalyptic Sublime
Observed
Perspective-Localized Art
08.09.13

Swiss artist Felice Varini recently installed a new perspective-localized street art piece in Paris.

John Foster
The Collection de l’Art Brut
Rick Poynor
Soft Machine’s Dysfunctional Mechanism
07.29.13

An alternative cover for the French release of The Soft Machine’s first album alludes to the history of the machine in 20th-century art.

Observed
Barbie, Revisited
07.24.13

Artist Nikcolay Lamm asked what Barie would look like as an average woman.

Alexandra Lange
Nevermind the Masterpiece
07.23.13

What's your "Masterpiece of Everyday New York"? A broken umbrella? A shirtwaist? Discarded gum?

Debbie Millman
Interaction of Color
Observed
Eyes on the Sky: Weather Visualized
07.19.13

Jed Carter's new book of watercolors, Eyes on the Sky, is a process-based investigation into generative design and the weather.

Rick Poynor
The Incidental Pleasures of Street Art
07.10.13

Sprawling, evolving, accreting: a collection of recent street art photos from Portugal and Spain.

Observed
Flowering Pages
06.19.13

A little-known but remarkable collection of treasures from The Garden Club of America illustrates the activities of the premier American gardening association over the course of a century.

Rob Walker
Street Life
John Foster
A Nod to Surrealism
Alexandra Lange
Dream Weaver
05.18.13

On a retrospective of the work of midcentury sculptor Ruth Asawa at Christie's, her first solo show in New York in 50 years.

Rick Poynor
The Conceptual Posters of Boris Bucan
Rob Walker
The Medium Is The Mail
05.10.13

Jill Stoll combines artistic ritual, creative reuse, and the postal service as connector.

John Thackara
Paranoid But Pretty
05.07.13

A review of Matthias Megyeri's new show at the German Architecture Center, and a review of the question the exhibition inspires: "Are we safer?"

Debbie Millman
Wendy MacNaughton + Caroline Paul
05.03.13

Wendy MacNaughton and Caroline Paul on a journey from advertising to Rwanda to illustration, and from Stanford to firefighter to author.

Observed
Change of State
05.03.13

"Change of State" — a site specific projection on the facade of the New Museum during Ideas City Festival, Saturday, May 4th, 2013.

John Foster
The Deep Roots of Modernism
04.21.13

Accidental Mysteries for April 21, 2013 focuses on the Deep Roots of Modernism.

Debbie Millman
Jennifer Sterling
04.12.13

Jennifer Sterling on her process, how money should be designed, and the way teaching has influenced her career.

John Foster
Drawn to Currency
03.31.13

The Accidental Mystery of Tim Prusmack's hand drawn currency.

Observed
Ann Weber Dumpster Dives in Rome
03.28.13

A film by Nick Heller about Ann Weber, a California-based artist who currently works primarily in cardboard.

John Foster
Defiant Beauty
Debbie Millman
ON! at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati
03.22.13

In this special Design Matters video episode, Debbie Millman gives you on a preview the new exhibit ON! at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati.

Debbie Millman
Sara Blake
03.22.13

Debbie Millman talks to Sara Blake about collaborating with her sister, creating portraits of 100 girls and illustrating NBA players.

Observed
Mirror
03.22.13

The
Seattle Art Museum will change permanently when Doug Aitken’s newest art installation — a giant LED and glass display called Mirror — is revealed.
John Foster
Dreams of the Sonora Aero Club
John Foster
Kodachrome Finds New Life
Alexandra Lange
After the Museum: The Tumblr
03.07.13

To create metamuseum.tumblr.com, a multi-museum, multi-curator Tumblr @MADMuseum, I saw it as a kind of curatorial game: Show Me What You’ve Got.

Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: Fin de Copenhague
John Foster
What’s Inside?
Observed
Vivian Maier: The Movie
02.22.13

A documentary is being made about John Maloofs discovery of Vivian Maier's street photographs.

Alexandra Lange
Patterns of Houston
02.17.13

How do you critique the urbanism of Houston? Look for patterns.

Rick Poynor
A Dictionary of Surrealism and the Graphic Image
02.15.13

An alphabetical guide to graphic designers influenced by Surrealism and to some key Surrealist concepts.

Observed
Filming Love in Times Square
02.15.13

From 11:57pm on February 13th until 12am February 14th British artist Tracey Emin turned Times Square into a big Valentine's Day card.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
02.10.13

A closer look at the cryptic, compelling world of the mask.

Adam Harrison Levy
Dylan Stone: 100 Years
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
01.13.13

Jason D'Aquino is a miniaturist who creates on an incredibly small scale and whose preferred canvas is, perhaps not surprisingly, a matchbook.
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Jessica Helfand
Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Twelve
12.28.12

In the end, Ezra Winter was a man whose devotion to the classical world virtually underscored his every move: it explained his ineffable pursuit of youth, his enduring worship of women, his unyielding obsessions with fantasy and grandeur, lyricism and scale, theatricality and costume, fable and myth.

Alexandra Lange
Bad Taste True Confessions: Erté
Observed
Happy Holidays from Robert Frost
12.17.12

A brief history of the collaboration between Robert Frost and Joseph Blumenthal as well as many top woodcut and engraving artists of the day.

Rick Poynor
Dom Sylvester Houédard’s Cosmic Typewriter
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Observed
Fig. 1-99
12.04.12

Anthony Gerace has created a series of 100 collaged colour studies – each one constructed from a single image, or rather the counterforms from an image.

Observed
Tweeting Birds
11.30.12

@Hungry_birds are real birds from Latvia typing on the keyboard made from fat.
Observed
Speculative Sound Performance
11.26.12

On Tuesday, November 27, at Apexart in NYC: an exercise in sonic branding.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Rob Walker
Real Space, Imaginary Stuff
11.24.12

Some lessons from organizing a show about the marketplace as medium

Alexandra Lange
Knolling Your Polling Place
11.13.12

Knolling your polling place: for the next election, a little spatial organization would go a long way.

Ed Ruscha
Sign Painters
11.06.12

Ed Ruscha's forward to Sign Painters, a new book from Princeton Architectural Press.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Jessica Helfand
Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Ten
10.25.12

In April, 1933, Ezra Winter delivers a fifteen-minute live radio talk on the subject of mural painting in relation to modern life, in which he tries desperately to convince himself that he has embraced the modern world.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
10.21.12

Once you use time, it is gone forever. Maybe that’s why we spend so much time looking at clocks.  

Rick Poynor
The Art of Punk and the Punk Aesthetic
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Alexandra Lange
Having Fun at the Museum
10.08.12

Blocks, rocket ships, playgrounds and balls: the hidden meaning of playthings at the Museum of Modern Art.

Rick Poynor
The Museum of Communicating Objects
Observed
Wade Guyton: Cause for Optimism
10.05.12

A review of Wade Guyton’s show at the Whitney Museum in New York.

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Observed
Art Without Artists
09.25.12

Accidental Mysteries John Foster co-curated
Art Without Artists at the Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University.
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
09.23.12

Accidental Mysteries is an online curiosity shop of extraordinary things, mined from the depths of the online world and brought to you each week by John Foster, a writer, designer and longtime collector of self-taught art and vernacular photography. This week's focus is sequences.

Rick Poynor
John Stezaker: Images from a Lost World
Alexandra Lange
Art Matters to Architecture
08.28.12

In Indianapolis, a restored Milton Glaser mural allows us to see its Brutalist home as its architect intended: with color!

Rick Poynor
The Never-ending Struggle against Clutter
Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: André Breton’s Nadja
Rick Poynor
Sending Signals about Political Graphics
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries: 07.15.12
07.15.12

Bill Traylor was born a slave in 1854. In the mid-1930s he began to draw, always from memory — the animals, people and events he recalled in his life.

Rob Walker
Assignment Creativity
05.05.12

A chaotic and entertaining collection addresses "the art of the art assignment."

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Rick Poynor
The Enduring Influence of Richard Hollis
04.06.12

An exhibition of Richard Hollis’s work provides the first public opportunity to assess the entire shape of his output.

Jessica Helfand
Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Three
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Debbie Millman
Jen Bekman
03.02.12

Jen Bekman discusses managing a BBS in the early days of the internet, her first email exchange and the importance of everyone owning art.

Rick Poynor
Motif Magazine: The World Made Visible
Rick Poynor
John McHale and the Expendable Ikon
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
Rick Poynor
The Evil Genius of David Shrigley
Jessica Helfand
Ezra Winter Project: Chapter One
Adam Harrison Levy
A History Of The World In 100 Objects
01.23.12

Adam Harrison Levy reviews the book A History Of The World In 100 Objects.

Rick Poynor
Ernst Haas and the Color Underground
01.19.12

Has Ernst Haas, an early master of color photography, received the credit his ground-breaking pictures deserve?

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
01.08.12

Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.

John Foster
A New American Picture: Doug Rickard and Street Photography in the Age of Google
01.01.12

When Google launched Street View in 2007, it was just the ticket for photographer Doug Rickard.

John Thackara
Why Walls Need Floors
12.27.11

The artist has worked with the knowledge that most of his site-and time-specific specific works are destined to disappear. Why?

John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
12.11.11

Welcome to Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of visual curiosities set aside for your perusal and enlightenment.

Alexandra Lange
When Modernists Get Crafty
Rick Poynor
Man in a Bowler: Illustration after Magritte
Rick Poynor
Literary Horror from the Chapman Brothers
11.10.11

British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman have created an image of sublime horror for the cover of Granta magazine.

Rick Poynor
On Display: The Kirkland Museum
Rick Poynor
Jan Svankmajer and the Graphic Uncanny
09.22.11

Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design opens at the Kunstal in Rotterdam on September 24.

Alice Twemlow
Remembering Richard Hamilton as Design Critic
09.19.11

Alice Twemlow remembers Richard Hamilton, artist and design writer.

Rick Poynor
Richard Hamilton, the Great Decipherer
09.15.11

The artist Richard Hamilton, who died this week, was an acute observer of design and the contemporary world.

Rick Poynor
Chris Foss and the Technological Sublime
09.01.11

Is cult science fiction artist Chris Foss’s work just highly effective illustration, or can it be seen as a visionary form of art?

Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: The Metallization of a Dream
Rick Poynor
Funerary Portraits: Snapshots in Stone
08.17.11

The portrait sculptures in the Cimetière du château in Nice resuscitate their subjects with a frequently startling vividness.

Rick Poynor
Andrzej Klimowski: Transmitting the Image
07.27.11

Andrzej Klimowski, author of a new book, On Illustration, has used the medium to create a compelling alternative reality.

Rick Poynor
J.G. Ballard’s Terminal Documents
07.21.11

A speculative visual interpretation of one of the surreal image lists in J.G. Ballard’s experimental novel The Atrocity Exhibition.

Rick Poynor
The Dictionary as Art Concept
Rick Poynor
On the Threshold of Sebald’s Room
Robin Cembalest
Shrink Rap
06.08.11

Mexican designer/artist Pedro Reyes opens a temporary sanatorium in Brooklyn.

Julie Lasky
Tribute to Tobi
Rick Poynor
Unearthly Powers: Surrealism and SF
Steven Heller
Paul Rand, Painter
05.02.11

Paul Rand had more in common with Paul Klee than a four letter first and last name. He too, painted.

Rick Poynor
Stewart Mackinnon: Ruptured and Remade
Rick Poynor
Starowieyski’s Graphic Universe of Excess
Rick Poynor
An Unknown Master of Poster Design
Rick Poynor
Slicing Open the Surrealist Eyeball
03.18.11

Surrealism codified a poetic principle that has always existed as a possibility and still exists in life and art.

James Biber
Pictures of Pictures
03.17.11

James Biber gives us a close new look at familiar paintings.

Rick Poynor
What Does J.G. Ballard Look Like? Part 2
03.11.11

There is increasing interest in the relationship between the writer J.G. Ballard and the visual arts. Have Ballard’s admirers and critics overlooked the most Ballardian artist of them all?

Julie Lasky
Rock Girl Benches
02.25.11

Rock Girl in Cape Town offers real and symbolic safe places for girls and women.

Mark Lamster
Cities from the Sky
02.17.11

A new exhibition of urban photographs by Sze Tsung Leong.

Mark Lamster
MoCA Loco
Rick Poynor
A Journal with No Fear of Flying
Rick Poynor
What Does J.G. Ballard Look Like?
Jessica Helfand
When Do We Call it Art?
01.27.11

Back in the pre-Banksy days of big cars and even bigger hair, there came a cultural moment noted for its prevalence of large-scaled words and symbols, a comparatively brazen visual trope that flirted with modernity by celebrating overscaled visuals in the interest of commerce.

Mark Lamster
Gerd Arntz: Design Icon
01.20.11

Gerd Arntz: A design icon who designed icons.

Meena Kadri
Meena Kadri’s Collection of Indian Street Graphics
01.20.11

It started quite innocently — as most obsessions do. A snap of a painted truck here and spot of rural advertising there, on annual trips to the ancestral homeland.

Rick Poynor
Surrealism in the Pre-School Years
Mark Lamster
The Once & Future Whitney Museum
12.23.10

The Whitney: An Architectural Tour.

Julie Lasky
"Do Not Touch!"
12.21.10

An art-gallery chair plays hard to get.

Mark Lamster
Beauty on the Border
12.13.10

Stop-you-in-your-tracks beauty on the US/Canada border.

Alexandra Lange
No Rest at the Last Supper
12.08.10

"Leonardo's Last Supper: A Vision by Peter Greenaway" is indeed a dud: cheese-tastic, bombastic, didactic.

Rick Poynor
Where Is Art Now?
12.01.10

Leaving the art world to decide what art is doesn’t resolve the issue of quality.

Nancy Levinson
Art Talks
11.29.10

Adam Lowe and Peter Greenaway at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City; Justin Partyka and Sir Terry Farrell at Eleven Spitalfields in London,

Michelle Hauser
A Fluid and Expressive Medium: Interview with Robert E. Jackson
11.24.10

In recent years, a new breed of photographer has emerged: the camera-less Photographer. This new generation — many of whom self-identify as collectors — has reinvented the process once again. Michelle Hauser interviews Robert E. Jackson, one of the country's most prolific collector of vernacular photography, who lays claim to a breadth and depth of material rivaled by few if any, in this emerging field.

Nancy Levinson
Greenaway at the Armory
Rick Poynor
Danzig Baldaev’s Prison House of Flesh
11.05.10

Fuel’s
Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia, which appeared in 2004, was a shrewdly judged piece of publishing. The meticulous ink drawings of tattoos made by Danzig Baldaev, a prison guard from 1948 to 1986, had a horrible fascination for viewers safe in the knowledge that they would never have to endure anything as harsh, perilous and sadistic as the Soviet penal system.
Rick Poynor
On My Shelf: Surrealism Permanent Revelation
11.05.10

This post is the first in an occasional series. The idea is to revisit a book from my bookshelf.

Rick Poynor
An App for the Self-Replacing Book
11.05.10

British artist Tom Phillips’A Humument, must be one of the most successful artist’s books ever published. Now, in an entirely logical development, comes The Humument app for the iPad.

Jessica Helfand, and Marian Bantjes
The Bantjes Covers
10.25.10

Marian Bantjes exposes the long process that led to the cover of her new monograph, I Wonder.

Alexandra Lange
On Design Observer: Girard + Folk Art
10.19.10

Alexander Girard fascinates me as an architect who refused to play the skyscraper game, focusing his considerable talents on restaurants, textiles, exhibitions and murals.

Mark Lamster
Wavefield: Maya Lin at Storm King
John Foster
Accidental Mysteries
10.03.10

Accidental Mysteries, a weekly cabinet of curiosities curated by John Foster, highlights images of design, art, architecture and ephemera brought to light by the magic of the digital age.

Mark Lamster
Upside Dome
10.02.10

Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s “Upside Dome” installation at St. Michiel’s in Leuven is so beautiful I can’t help but post a picture of it here

Jade Dressler
Degrees of Temporary
09.22.10

Interview with Claudia Zanfi, co-founder of the cultural organization aMAZElab in Milan.

Sculpture by Mara Haseltine
Pearl River
09.09.10

Oyster Island, Mara Haseltine's sculpture created to revive the oyster reefs that once flourished in and near New York City.

Christopher Mount
Wild at Heart: Tadanori Yokoo
07.21.10

Essay adapted from the catalog for "The Complete Posters of Tadanori Yokoo," an exhibition running through September 12, 2010, at the National Museum of Art in Osaka, Japan.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: Paperback
07.20.10

Behold the very dashing cover for the forthcoming paperback edition of Master of Shadows, design by the great John Gall.

Mark Lamster
Oh, Culture: A Koons at the Seagram Building
06.12.10

I imagine Mies would not have been pleased to see Jeff Koons's kitschy pink balloon dog standing guard in the lobby of the Seagram Building, his masterpiece of pristine austerity.

Alexandra Lange
Op Art Eye Candy
06.11.10

I’m lucky that I get to live with a
Julian Stanczak painting, bought by my father-in-law in 1968, when Op Art was really something.
Jessica Helfand
Rome’s MAXXI: Force Field as Field Space
06.01.10

The MAXXI center in Rome opens with a glorious, international exhibition and showcases a building that is likely to be as controversial — and as celebrated — as its designer.

Helen Chang
Jugendstil: The Youth Style of Viennese Book Art
Mark Lamster
Rubens and the Right
05.16.10

A couple of weeks ago I went up to Cambridge for a symposium on Rubens, hoping to catch up on the latest scholarship and check in with friends in the art history game.

Eric Baker
Today, 05.15.10
05.15.10

Each morning, before starting work, I spend 30 minutes looking for images that are beautiful, funny, absurd and inspiring. Here's TODAY.

Elliott Earls
The Sentient and the Bag of Meat
04.29.10

In most cases, design education takes place within the larger context of this thing called “art school.” Students can be grouped into one of two categories: the Sentient and the Bag of Meat.

Adrian Shaughnessy
Safety and Comfort: A Walk with Paul Davis
04.19.10

Davis has asked me to write the introduction to his latest book. I told him I didn't want to write about the usual stuff. He agreed and suggested we go for a walk instead.

Mark Dery
Bunker of Broken Dreams
04.12.10

Review of "Landscapes of Quarantine," Storefront for Art and Architecture, New York. March 9–April 17, 2010.

Mark Lamster
A Very Good Book
04.02.10

Anyone who sees fit to pontificate on the status and future of the book should be legally obligated to see the MET's exhibition of the Limbourg brothers' Belles Heures of Jean, Duc de Berry.

Rob Walker
Valuing $0
03.13.10

Lewis Hyde wrote The Gift decades ago for an audience of artists, writers and other people who create. Chris Anderson, cited Hyde’s work in his book Free, published last year.

Mark Lamster
A Matter of Perspective?
03.10.10

The Vancouver Sun has run a long follow-up story, by Jennifer Moss, to my Los Angeles Times pieceon the plagiarism charges leveled by Sze Tsung Leong against David Burden

Jessica Helfand
Prisoners of Logic
02.19.10

For five or six years now, I have led a double life as a painter. Until recently, I viewed this other identity as a kind of dirty secret.

Mark Lamster
Talking Rubens with Leonard Lopate
12.16.09

I'll be appearing on WNYC's Leonard Lopate Show this afternoon.

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: A Telegraph Book of the Year
12.07.09

The distinguished British historian Michael Burleigh has named Master of Shadows a Book of the Year in the Telegraph.

Mark Lamster
"Compelling" & "Important": The L.A. Times Praises Master of Shadows
12.01.09

Good book reviews are rarities to be prized in these days of shuttered newspapers and diminished book coverage. By good I don't simply mean positive.

Mark Lamster
Dankuwel Antwerpen!
11.25.09

This is a good week to be thankful and I am especially grateful to everyone who made the launch of De meester van de schaduw in Antwerp such a success.

Mark Lamster
The Big Stage
11.11.09

'll be giving a talk on Rubens and his diplomatic career at the Ringling Museum's extraordinary Asolo Theater.

By Alexis Rockman
Hot Times in the Old Town
Felice C. Frankel, and George M. Whitesides
No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale
11.03.09

A slideshow of images from the book, No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale.

Steven Heller
Why Does John Baeder Paint Diners?
11.03.09

John Baeder's goal for the past three decades has been to record on canvas and paper just about every diner and roadside eatery.

Mark Lamster
A Renaissance Who Dunnit
11.02.09

Tomorrow the Metropolitan Museum will put on display a sculpture of a boy archer that made headlines about a decade ago when a New York art historian claimed it was the work of Michelangelo.

Jessica Helfand
All Things Matter
10.27.09

His name was Herbert Matter, a man even the ornery Paul Rand described as possibly the least pompous person on the planet. When I was a junior in college, he taught me how to make a Photogram. He was 74 years old.

Mark Lamster
Peter Paul Rubens: Graphic Designer
10.19.09

In his day, Rubens was also revered as a diplomat, an architect, a classical scholar, and even a graphic designer.

Mark Lamster
The Art of Diplomacy
10.10.09

It's a rather satisfying bit of parallelism that the excerpt of my book on the political career of Peter Paul Rubens appears in the Wall Street Journal on the same day that Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize is the paper's lead story.

Mark Lamster
A Bibliophile's Revelation
10.09.09

Domenichino's St. John the Evangelist seems, as much as anything, a celebration of the act of writing and the ecstasy of the written word. 

Ernest Beck
Emergency Response Studio
10.05.09

Report on artist Paul Villinski's mobile studio, which he converted from a trailer of the type used by FEMA to house victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Inkahoots
Australians All Let Us Text
09.09.09

"New Anthems" art project by Inkahoots for Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts in Brisbane, Australia.

Alexandra Lange
First Flight
09.06.09

My two-year-old made his first interpretation of art on Saturday at the Storm King Art Center.

Mark Lamster
Auto-Matic Abstraction
08.25.09

With their zippy vertical lines, these pictures I shot out of a car window remind me of Barney Newman.

Mark Lamster
On "Master of Shadows"
08.22.09

Peter Paul Rubens gives us a lot to think about in his canvasses of rushing color, action, and puckered flesh, so it’s not surprising that his work as a diplomat and spy has been neglected.

Alexandra Lange
Summer As a Verb
08.01.09

The estate of sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens is a lovely place to picnic while reviewing the artist's work.

Mark Lamster
Advance Praise for Master of Shadows
07.21.09

The first notices for Master of Shadows are beginning to flow in, and I'm happy to report that the initial response has been very positive indeed.

Mark Lamster
Live Fast, Die Young
07.16.09

Dash Snow rests in a long line of dangerous, self-destructive artists who've captured the public imagination.

Mark Lamster
Meet James Ensor
06.29.09

It's been some three decades since James Ensor has had a major museum exhibition in the US, which makes MoMA's new show a rare pleasure.

Ars Libri Ltd
Paul Schuitema Collection
06.24.09

This remarkable collection of graphic design is from the Dutch designer Paul Schuitema.

Mark Lamster
Red Star
06.12.09

The New York-Amsterdam connection has been much in the news of late, and rightly so, as this is the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's Dutch-sponsored voyage of American discovery.

Mark Lamster
All in the Family
06.10.09

My cousin Barbara Schaefer is having a show of recent work at Shop Art, on Bergen Street in Brooklyn.

Mark Lamster
Tormented Youth
06.05.09

Next week the MET will put on display Michelangelo's "Torment of Saint Anthony," reputedly the artist's first painting.

Ars Libri Ltd
Walter Dexel Collection
06.04.09

This remarkable collection of graphic design is from the German Constructivist artist and typographer Walter Dexel.

William Drenttel
Once Out of Chaos
06.02.09


Mark Lamster
Bowery on the Beach?
06.02.09

Has Leigh Bowery, said to have died more than a decade ago, been hiding out on the Coney Island boardwalk sporting a mullet all along?

Mark Lamster
Urban Camouflage
05.27.09

As the Magritte Museum was prepared for its unveiling, the building was cloaked by a brilliant trompe-l'oeil construction wall, very much in the spirit of the artist.

Julie Lasky
This End Up: Renzo Piano's Modern Wing
05.20.09

Julie Lasky reviews the Art Institute of Chicago's Modern Wing.


Adam Eeuwens
One Word, Plastics
05.18.09

This is a call to action for designers to donate credit cards, gift cards, discount cards, hotel key cards, phone cards to the Graphic Design Museum in Breda, The Netherlands.

Mark Lamster
On Muses
05.16.09

Lee Siegel has a wonderful piece in today's WSJ on the history and decline of the muse in art.

Mark Lamster
Triumph of the Will (Or, Everything Old Is New Again)
05.14.09

In the New Yorker this week, Jonah Lehrer writes about a psychological study suggesting that self control, or the ability to delay gratification, more strongly correlates with long-term success than intelligence.

Adam Harrison Levy
An Interview With Philip Glass
05.12.09

In 2005, Adam Harrison Levy interviewed Philip Glass for a BBC documentary film about Chuck Close. Glass was seated in front of the monumental painting Phil, 1969. This is their exchange.

Jason Grant
Cultured Graphic Hygiene
05.12.09

Regardless of how difficult, disobedient or messy their subject, museum posters are courteous and clean. Is there any reason why graphic design for museums shouldn’t be the measure of their exhibits?

Mark Lamster
UnMonumental
03.29.09

While it's true that the events of 9/11 have begotten a good number of ill-conceived memorials, the latest, set for unveiling today at the Yankees' spring training home in Tampa, might just be the least successful, artistically.

Mark Lamster
Access Denied
03.17.09

In putting together the images for Master of Shadows, my publisher placed a permissions request to use a painting from the collection of the Norton Simon Foundation, in Los Angeles, only to be denied.

Mark Lamster
After Peter Paul Rubens (Long After)
02.28.09

Perusing the Christie's website a few days ago, I noticed a print attributed to William Pether "after Peter Paul Rubens."

Mark Lamster
Master of Shadows: The Cover
01.15.09

Behold the cover for Master of Shadows, which releases this coming October.

Rick Poynor
Barney Bubbles: Optics and Semantics
12.18.08

The intricately reflexive nature of his work made Barney Bubbles a true original in his time. No previous British designer had produced graphic communications this playful, personal, dense with allusion, or tricksy. Bubbles was a postmodernist before this new category of graphic design had been identified and defined, and he is as significant an innovator as his American contemporary April Greiman.

Steven Heller
My Dada
12.03.08

Way back in 1965, as a fifteen years old, I was an early EVOtee. I had stumbled upon one of the first issues at a newsstand. The cover, which I remember vividly, had a photo collage of a serpent emerging from battle fatigues worn by America's commanding general in Vietnam, William Westmoreland. Haunting is not a strong enough word to describe the impact that this had on a teen just a year or two out of Valley Forge Military Academy, where, surprisingly, I had learned about the military impossibility of winning the war.

Steven Heller
Draw Me Schools Of Commercial Art
12.03.08

Scores of advertisements, like the famous "Draw Me!" matchbook cover, offered willing aspirants the big chance to earn "$65, $80 and more a week" in "a pleasant, profitable Art career." Although the ads often shared space at the back of cheesy pulp magazines with offers to learn, well, brain surgery at home, they offered a legitimate way for anyone with a modicum of talent, limited means and an existing job to train in their spare time for a new profession.

Lawrence Weschler
The Work of Tara Donovan
10.09.08

In October 2008, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston opened an exhibition spanning a decade of Tara Donovan’s work. Here, she is interviewed by Lawrence Weschler.

Jessica Helfand
Second in a Series: Completions
09.15.08

The series, when shown on a single surface, carries with it a kind of implicit satisfaction that a series disseminated over time does not.

Rob Walker
Shared Memories
09.12.08

Many of the images reproduced in Scrapbooks: An American History, by Jessica Helfand, date back 50, 80, even 100 years. Reproduced in color and spread across wide pages, the anonymous scrapbook creators could hardly have imagined such a fate for their work.

Steven Heller
Where Have You Gone R. Cobb?
08.26.08


Jessica Helfand
Biblionomatopoeia
08.19.08

What do you call book jacket design that manipulates the book jacket itself in an effort to illustrate the content of the book? Answer: biblionomatopoeia.

Adam Zagajewski
"Describing Paintings"
08.19.08

"Describing Painting" a poem by Adam Zagajewski from his new book Eternal Enemies.

Jessica Helfand
First In A Series: Cartophily
08.07.08

Mostly unified by their one-to-two format, cigarette cards revealed countless variation in topic and scope, style and personality, seriousness of purpose and goofball whimsy. If the ardent collector defines the amalgamation of disparate items by retaining a fundamental organizing principle, then what is it, exactly, that guides the maker? And enthralls the viewer?

Jessica Helfand
Reflections on the Ephemeral World, Part Two: Food
06.30.08

Ever since the 16th century Italian Mannerist painter Archimboldo made portraits from the detritus of his dinner, the relationship between the visual and the edible has been something of a puzzle. Welcome to the world of foodistry: design with food.

William Drenttel
Thoughts on Democracy, July 4 2008
06.07.08


Lorraine Wild
100%
04.07.08

So, it’s 1966 and two guys are hanging around their Los Angeles apartment, musing about the sort of things that people mused about in the Sixties. The aesthetic philosophers in question were the artist Ed Ruscha and the artist/comedy writer/composer/performer Mason Williams...

Tom Vanderbilt
Blast-Door Art: Cave Paintings of Nuclear Era
04.03.08

Welcome to the mordant, jingoistic and occasionally crude world — but rarely before seen world — of “blast-door art�? — the cave paintings of the nuclear era.

Debbie Millman
Laurie Rosenwald
03.14.08

On this episode of Design Matters with Debbie Millman, Debbie talks with graphic designer, artist and actress Laurie Rosenwald.

Debbie Millman
Vaughan Oliver
02.08.08

Legendary graphic designer Vaughan Oliver is also an artist and the author of several books, including Exhibition/Exposition and This Rimy River.

James Traub
Art Rogers vs. Jeff Koons
01.21.08

James Traub on the Art Rogers vs. Jeff Koons legal case, perhaps relevant to recent discussions about Richard Prince's art.

Michael Bierut
The Most Hated Holiday Song in the World
12.22.07

Ten years ago, Vitaly Komar and Alex Melamid attempted to create the most irritating song in the world. It's now available online, and it's perfect for the holidays!

Rob Walker
Tobias Wong on Consuming Consumer Consumption
12.01.07

Tobias Wong on Consuming Consumer Consumption.

Jessica Helfand
Science and Design: The Next Wave
10.16.07

Scientists probe and manipulate and channel and divide; they split and fuse and spike and engineer; but most of all, they look. As a designer, to spend any time with scientists is to become at once profoundly aware of our similarities and devastated by that which divides us.

Jessica Helfand
Stan Brakhage: Caught on Tape
10.01.07

For Stan Brakhage, that concentration resulted in extraordinary explorations of many things, including the life cycle of a moth, caught on adhesive strips of tape, and subsequently captured on film where it regained — however briefly — the magnificent illusion of mobility. For designers, faced by budgets and clients and deadlines, the luxury of so much isolation seems a distant, if not an altogether perverse paradigm. But are these intentions really so mutually exclusive?

Michael Bierut
Flat, Simple and Funny: The World of Charley Harper
08.16.07

A tribute to the late designer Charley Harper, "the only wildlife artist who has never been compared to Audubon and never will be."

Peter Good
Remembering Sol Lewitt (1928-2007)
07.13.07

I first met Sol Lewitt in 1986, when he and Carol and their young daughters moved to Chester, Connecticut, a small town on the Connecticut River where I have a graphic design studio. We met at an opening at the Chester Gallery...

Debbie Millman
Shepard Fairey
06.29.07

Designer and illustrator Shepard Fairey is the author of Supply and Demand: The Art of Shepard Fairey and Shepard Fairey: Post No Bills.

Jessica Helfand
Ad Reinhardt, Graphic Designer
05.17.07

Ad Reinhardt fretted about the meaning of life. He agonized about the purpose of painting. He questioned everyone, critiqued everything, and worked incessantly. In other words, he was a graphic designer.

Debbie Millman
Barbara Kruger
04.13.07

An interview with American artist Barbara Kruger.

Debbie Millman
Maira Kalman
03.23.07

An interview with the remarkable Maira Kalman — the closest thing we in the United States have to a National Treasure.

Michael Bierut
Good at Art
03.19.07

Growing up in the sixties, I couldn't throw or catch a baseball with authority, punch someone in the face, or shoplift. But I had something I could call my very own. I was good at art.

Debbie Millman
Andrea Deszo
03.02.07

An interview with designer, artist and educator Andrea Deszo.

Jessica Helfand
The Illusion of Certainty
02.19.07

Artist Allan McCollum aspires to an unprecedented scale with this "Shapes" project: his goal is to make enough shapes, assuming a population of approximately 9.1 billion by the year 2050, so that everyone on the planet can have one. Shapes aside, what's truly fascinating is the idea of the system: what is it about them that we hate to love and love to hate?

William Drenttel
The Good Citizen's Alphabet
02.08.07

Bertrand Russell had the wisdom to realize that certain words require proper definition to be used correctly in political and social discourse. This alphabet book is offered here as a slide show for our readers.

Dmitri Siegel
Interface Space
02.01.07

Contemporary artists make physical versions of interface elements.

Debbie Millman
Paola Antonelli
06.09.06

An interview with Paola Antonelli, curator in the department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art.  

Jessica Helfand
The Propensity for Density
04.11.06

It's like design's been on a diet and finally gets to eat that giant cheesecake: shifting notches on the belt buckle, we're so happy for the sugar high that we don't realize we're slipping. And slipping we are.

William Drenttel
Meet Me in St. Louis: The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts
04.03.06

The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts makes the radical assumption that the experience of art is about contemplation. Take your time. You are alone here. The light will change if you stay long enough.

Lawrence Weschler
Languorous Bodyscapes
03.16.06

"The long, languid spread of her body makes the first and most lasting impression." And more on these sorts of landscape-bodyscape slippages by this seasoned The New Yorker writer, and recent author of Everything That Rises : A Book of Convergences.

Debbie Millman
Ellen Lupton
01.20.06

An interview with Ellen Lupton — writer, educator, designer and a Curator of Contemporary Design at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Julie Lasky
Edward Hopper, Village Person
01.05.06

My friend opened the door to a minimally furnished skylit room. It had a pot-bellied stove, a painter's easel, and photos framed on the wall of a grim man with long legs. The room was the studio of Edward Hopper. (Slide show by Duane Michals.)

Jessica Helfand
Face Value
12.16.05

Facial transplants mapping our future: how much is the world of design responsible?

Jessica Helfand
Cease and Design
12.01.05

Where graphic design education is concerned, more doing and less asking is necessary.

William Drenttel
David Hughes: Caricaturist of Our Time
11.17.05

But my favorite, in recent years, is the British illustrator David Hughes. I yearn for his drawings, look for them in my favorite publications, and save them whenever and wherever I find them.

Jessica Helfand
On Considering the Source
11.03.05

As primary sources of inspiration in art become a rarified reality, one is forced to wonder where are the original, the unmediated and the pure, sans cliche?

Michael Bierut
Four Years After
09.11.05

After four years of ambiguity and contention and the World Trade Center site, Ellsworth Kelly's 2003 proposal seems wiser than ever.

Rick Poynor
Vladimir’s House and Garden of Earthly Delights
07.27.05

Spending two weeks in Vladimir Beck's house on the island of Vrnik in Croatia made me question, yet again, rigid distinctions between artist and designer. Here, it's impossible to separate the two. Beck has designed every feature with a high degree of thought for what might make a domicile located in such a setting pleasurable and practical to live in.

William Drenttel
Catastrophic Imaginings: The Design of Disaster
06.24.05

In the end, artificial disasters are designed to elicit and test the responses of participants. In their recording, both allow for a post-mortem evaluation. How did I do? How would I respond? Would I sit patiently in my car a mile up the road? Would I watch from my window, safe in my home?

Rick Poynor
In Memoriam: My Manual Typewriter
06.16.05

The fully evolved typewriter is a 20th-century industrial archetype. It feels inevitable, almost elemental, like one of those object types, such as a chair or a fork, that simply had to exist in this universe of forms.

Michael Bierut
The Man Who Saved Jackson Pollock
06.06.05

Herbert Matter, the designer who stored away a cache of recently-discovered Jackson Pollock paintings, deserves a similar rediscovery.

Rick Poynor
Mevis and Van Deursen: Rueful Recollections, Recycled Design
06.03.05

In their self-edited monograph, Dutch graphic designers Mevis and Van Deursen turn their backs on their professed commitment to ideas and treat the book mainly as an opportunity for undemanding aesthetic play.

Rick Poynor
Eduardo Paolozzi, 20th Century Image-Maker
04.24.05

If a visual artist created more concentrated, exhilarating images of science, technology and the media realm during the mid-20th century than British artist Eduardo Paolozzi, then I would like to see them. Paolozzi, who died on 22 April aged 81, was first of all a sculptor, but the screenprints he produced in the 1960s rank as masterpieces of the medium.

Michael Bierut
Homage to the Squares
04.03.05

The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's exhibition Design is not Art provides a useful contrast to an simultaneous exhibition of the work of Josef and Anni Albers, and demonstrates differences between art and design.

Jessica Helfand
Scrapbooking: The New Paste-Up
03.17.05

"Craft-born embellishments," note one supplier of scrapbooking products, "are penetrating an unexpected market: graphic design."

Michael Bierut
Designing Under the Influence
02.26.05

The similarity of a young designer's work to that of the artist Barbara Kruger provides the starting point for a discussion of the role of influence in design, and whether it is possible for someone to "own" a specific style.

Jessica Helfand
Our Bodies, Our Fonts
02.21.05

Body markings — piercings, tattoos and so forth — have recently evolved into a kind of marginalized form of graphic expression, yet one that sheds an unusual light on some of the more mainstream ways in which design often reveals itself.

Kenneth Krushel
The Gates
02.19.05

Much has been written about Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "Gates" project in Central Park in New York City. In the past few days, though, we have received two further reports on this project which we want to share with our readers: an essay by Ken Krushel and a photographic portfolio by Adam Bartos.

Jessica Helfand
The New Paper Chase: Cyberspace on The Auction Block
02.16.05

On February 23,
Christies in New York will auction more than 1,000 items dating as far back as the early 17th century, all of it tracing the history of cyberspace.
Julie Lasky
Christo's Agent Orange
02.13.05

Christo and Jeanne-Claude's Central Park gates lack that magnetic, landscape-transforming power. Could this be owing not just to the way the gates drive viewers to seek greater heights of sensation, but also to the off-putting emergency color, the subtle grid of the rip-stop nylon reminiscent of quick escapes from troubled aircraft?

Michael Bierut
The Best Artist in the World
01.19.05

Alton Tobey, a little-known commercial illustrator, created a body of work in the early sixties that continues to inspire.

William Drenttel
Bird in Hand: When Does A Copy Become Plagiarism?
01.06.05


Jessica Helfand
An Instrument of Sufficiently Lucid Cogitation
08.05.04

The legendary French photojournalist Henri Cartier-Bresson, who died on Tuesday at his home in the South of France, always carried a sketchbook with him. Today's obituary in The New York Times alleges that he described drawing as meditative, while photography was intuitive: though certainly both activities might have been informed by a relentless need to observe and in a sense, preserve the world around him.

Rick Poynor
Britain and America: United in Idiocy
07.31.04

What do Brits and Americans think of each other? In Us & Them, a book by the satirical British illustrator Paul Davis, the two countries have one thing in common: they are both equally stupid. That’s not saying much.

Michael Bierut
Ed Ruscha: When Art Rises to the Level of Graphic Design
07.12.04

A retrospective of the drawings of Ed Ruscha raises the question: is he an artist or a graphic designer?

Michael Bierut
McSweeney's No. 13 and the Revenge of the Nerds
05.29.04

McSweeney's No. 13, published by Dave Eggers and guest edited by Chris Ware, is a masterwork of publication design and an invaluable survey of today's best comic artists and graphic novelists.

Rick Poynor
Critics and Their Purpose
04.23.04

Pulling a 1960s art magazine from the shelf, I opened it at random to find a long list of thoughts about art criticism assembled in 1966 by students at the Royal College of Art in London. Many of these ideas apply to design.

William Drenttel
El Lissitzky for Pesach
04.10.04


Jessica Helfand
The Crisis of Intent
02.24.04


William Drenttel
Rationalizing Absence
01.15.04

James Turrell's influence on World Trade Tower memorial design.

William Drenttel
Adolf Wölfli Invents Design Brut?
01.05.04

Mr. Gomez has taken your basic 19th-century-madman-artist and turned him into a model 20th century graphic designer.

Michael Bierut
Mark Lombardi and the Ecstasy of Conspiracy
11.24.03

Artist Mark Lombardi's intricate handdrawn diagrams describing the relationships behind contemporary political and financial scandals are both beautiful objects and extraordinary feats of information design.

Jessica Helfand
On Visual Empathy
11.22.03

In a world besieged by unpredictable atrocities, don't we all feel a little emotionally raw? Two recent articles in suggest that visual empathy may more critical to a productive imagination than we thought.

Jessica Helfand
The Art of Elegant Abstraction
09.10.03

Bill Morrison's surprising 66-minute film is now playing on the Sundance Channel. For listings, see: http://www.sundancechannel.com/film_finder/index.php?startingLetter=d


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