The exhibition, in addition to celebrating an impressive range of formal expression from a veritable lineup of graphic makers, brings posters—a seemingly more and more rare format in the U.S.—into sharp focus. The walls, nearly completely covered with all sizes of poster works, command attention. It’s a splintered form of attention at times as one’s eye jumps from one graphically-arresting poster to the next, but, stepping back, the whole of the graphic works on display bring attention to the truly amorphous and lively state of contemporary graphic design taking place within the U.S., especially in NYC. The designers featured in the exhibition hail from many different countries—the common thread amongst them being that all have made their way to study and/or design in the U.S.
In addition to the graphic and typographic work that is on display, the poster format itself (and the possibilities that lie therein) is on display. If acting as a barometer of the state of the poster, These Posters are Fireworks suggests that the format is still relevant and even more so a platform for a graphic approach that invites exploration of scale and aesthetic vibrancy.
The methods of print production of the exhibited posters also point to a healthy and varied culture of poster production. The array of screen-printed, Riso-printed, offset-printed, and digitally-printed posters reveal an aspect of each project’s parameters as well as the range of aims and factors within which posters come into existence in 2017: from one-offs to mass printings; from manually-calibrated and -fed prints to mechanically-perfected prints; from conceptually-driven approaches to graphic indulgence; from student projects to commissioned works; from pure type to pure form.
These Posters are Fireworks features posters by Bráulio Amado, Lake Buckley, Catalogue, Haejung Choi, Seokhoon Choi, Cem Eskinazi, Moonsick Gang, Harry Gassel, Gluekit, Yotam Hadar, Zak Jensen, Ely Kim, Biba Košmerl, Qiong Li, Drew Litowitz, Yenwei Liu, Houman Momtazian, Maziyar Pahlevan, Nejc Prah, Raf Rennie, Serious Makers, Jessica Svendsen, Sally Thurer, Franziska Virgili, Ghazaal Vojdani, Kurt Woerpel, and Sean Yendrys.
These Posters are Fireworks: Graphic Design on Display
Curated by Draw Down
On View July 1–31, 2017 at Project No. 8, 38 Orchard Street, New York, NY
An exhibition catalog (28 pages, 1-color offset, 5.5 × 8.5 inches) is available from Draw Down Books.
Draw Down Books
Draw Down Books is a publishing platform founded by Christopher Sleboda and Kathleen Sleboda in 2012. Based in New England, Draw Down produces small and unique books with a focus on graphic design, photography, typography, illustration, and architecture. Draw Down’s online store features a curated selection of related titles from around the world, as well as zines, posters, and type specimens.
Various Projects / Project No. 8
Elizabeth Beer & Brian Janusiak formed Various Projects, Inc. as a multidisciplinary creative collaboration in 2005. Various Projects is interested in the overlapping of design, art, and commerce. Collaborations are a central, and essential focus of the studio which creates objects, garments, accessories, books, furniture, and spaces as the need arises.
Project No. 8, is the studio’s retail project and is currently in two locations: A Travel Shop at the Ace Hotel at 22 West 29th Street, and an Exhibition Space at 38 Orchard Street.
These spaces have offered Various Projects and their many creative partners a chance to experiment with themes that re-occur in their work: questions of audience, distribution, digression, and the creation of fluctuating communities.