Archive

Modernism

Who Do You Think You Are?/Don’t You Know Who I Am?

HAND IN DATE: Wednesday 24 April 2013 by 4pm.

Please read carefully…

You need to be as creative as you can with the way this essay is presented. You do not have to stick to the conventional A4 layout. You could make it double sided/double spread. You could male it A1/2/3/5 if you wish. It could look like magazine. Be creative in the way you lay out the images. Think about their relationships to the text. Use all your design intelligence to create a publication design that reflects its contents.

19_003

Emigre 19 
Starting From Zero (1991)

http://www.emigre.com/EMag.php?issue=19

You will hand in a hard copy to the Student Office in E-Block

AND email me a single PDF file to m.ingham@arts.ac.uk

///

Here is a reminder of the brief…

For this written text you will become the interviewer/storyteller/narrator of a fictional event. You will create a scenario where the person from the 19th/early 20th centuries that you have already been assigned to research/become will meet a “post-modernist” designer/artist/thinker and if you so wish one or two other characters of your own choice.

You will be assigned a producer or critic of post-modern culture to begin with. You will then be able to choose another person from a list of people from the later modernist period and/or someone of your own choosing, who you may already know something about or are a fan of theirs and their work. They could be a; musician, fashion designer, artist, filmmaker, poet, etc.

This brief is about being able to ask the right questions when writing a text. These questions will have to be based on extensive research of your characters and the worlds they inhabit(ed). Without high quality research your questions will lack the depth for you to elicit quality answers. (You will of course be answering your questions on the behave of your characters.)

The first thing you will need to decide if you are going to stick with a three way correspondence/conversation or go for the more complicated but possibly more rewarding four or five way debate.

///

So the options are:

1. You + Your Person from Modernity + Your Given Post-modernist.

= 3 people in the conversation.

2. You + Your Person from Modernity + Your Given Post-modernist + A Modernist from the given list OR and person of your choice.

= 4 people in the conversation.

3. You + Your Person from Modernity + Your Given Post-modernist + A Modernist from the given list AND and person of your choice.

= 5 people in the conversation.

///

Once you have decided on which option you want to pursue, you then have to think about a scenario where they might all might meet up or correspond with each other. This will be a fictional event or process and it is much more than likely that they never met in real life. Will you invent a machine that sends you back in time and collect all your characters for a Radio/TV special on their lives? Will it be a ‘This is Your Life’ type event? You may wish to have them casually bump into each other in a coffee shop/bar/swimming pool and start up a conversation. You may want to do all the correspondence between your characters by post-card/letter/e-mail/twitter/SMS. You could create a fictitious play where they all appear in. You can be as creative as you wish with this element and take them to Mars if you fancy….

You will be the person you initiates the first questions to your characters and you will have to introduce them to each other. From then onwards you will be the narrator/interviewer and they will also want to speak to each other. This might then start a debate about the merits of modernism/post-modernism or any other issue the may have a bee in their bonnet or issue with.

You must start investigating and researching into your characters straight away, as this will be what you will base your questions on and will help you create and exciting and dynamic story. It is a flight of fantasy and is not real but will be based of the facts, works and words of your characters lives. You will create an extensive bibliography, which will be attached to this written text, as you WILL look for as many books/websites/films/journals articles about your characters and their lives and the worlds they lived in.

You MUST include in text referencing in this work. So you would say: (YOU) Dear Marcel Duchamp many thanks for being here today in is a great honour and pleasure. My first question is that, according to your friend and writer, Pierre Cabanne (1987) in his fascinating book Dialogues With Marcel Duchamp he asks you what your greatest regret was? Can you remember what you said” (MD) Yes of course I can remember as if it was yesterday day, I said, ‘I don’t have any. I’ve missed nothing.’ (Cabanne 1987 p15)

You must find a way of incorporating as many images of your characters work as possible into your chosen scenario and therefore the written text. If you are sending postcards for instance, send them images of your own work and they will then send you and each other images of their work. If in a café/bar they may have their portfolio/smart phone with them and they can introduce themselves through their work. They and you can then critique this work and a heated debate might arise. These images also must be referenced in full in a list, which can go wherever you like in this text. Your scenario might end up in an argument and one of your characters flouncing out in a huff.

 The elements of this text will be:

1. A title. It should be a hook and make the reader want to read your story.

2. An Introduction by yourself to the scenario you have imaginatively chosen for you people to come together and converse and a short introduction to these people and their lives.

3. The main text written as a continuous narrated dialogue between you are your characters and between each other, whether in the form of a script, letters, novel dialogue. As the narrator you are the questioner/interviewer/referee and the person who describes what is happening.

4. A conclusion where you sum up what happened and your thoughts on the events that have just ensued. A good ending is always important.

5. A list of illustrations which tells the reader exactly who took/made the image the date it was made where you got it from and when you accessed it, if in was from and on-line source.

6. A bibliography, which has FULL references for each source of information, you have used or looked at during your research. You MUST not just include an URL, there should be an author, date, title, site, URL, when access information included.

If in doubt look at: Guide to the Harvard System of Referencing http://bit.ly/12eP1Wt

You will be graded using the Undergraduate Marking Criteria Matrix: http://bit.ly/Z9L58o

HAND IN DATE: Wednesday 24 April 2013 by 12.05pm.

You will hand in a hard copy to the Student Office in E-Block AND email me a single PDF file to m.ingham@arts.ac.uk

///

Advertisements

“Read, read, read. Read everything”

William Faulkner

“Read, read, read. Read everything – trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it’s good, you’ll find out. If it’s not, throw it out of the window.”

///

20130402-192517.jpg

John Balderssari

///

Who Do You Think You Are?/Don’t You Know Who I Am?

///

///

For this written text you will become the interviewer/storyteller/narrator of a fictional event. You will create a scenario where the person from the 19th/early 20th centuries that you have already been assigned to research/become will meet a “post-modernist” designer/artist/thinker and if you so wish one or two other characters of your own choice.

You will be assigned a producer or critic of post-modern culture to begin with. You will then be able to choose another person from a list of people from the later modernist period and/or someone of your own choosing, who you may already know something about or are a fan of theirs and their work. They could be a; musician, fashion designer, artist, filmmaker, poet, etc.

This brief is about being able to ask the right questions when writing a text. These questions will have to be based on extensive research of your characters and the worlds they inhabit(ed). Without high quality research your questions will lack the depth for you to elicit quality answers. (You will of course be answering your questions on the behave of your characters.)

The first thing you will need to decide if you are going to stick with a three way correspondence/conversation or go for the more complicated but possibly more rewarding four or five way debate.

 So your options are:

1. You + Your Person from Modernity + Your Given Post-modernist.

= 3 people in the conversation.

2. You + Your Person from Modernity + Your Given Post-modernist + A Modernist from the given list OR and person of your choice.

= 4 people in the conversation.

3. You + Your Person from Modernity + Your Given Post-modernist + A Modernist from the given list AND and person of your choice.

= 5 people in the conversation.

Once you have decided on which option you want to pursue, you then have to think about a scenario where they might all might meet up or correspond with each other. This will be a fictional event or process and it is much more than likely that they never met in real life. Will you invent a machine that sends you back in time and collect all your characters for a Radio/TV special on their lives? Will it be a ‘This is Your Life’ type event? You may wish to have them casually bump into each other in a coffee shop/bar/swimming pool and start up a conversation. You may want to do all the correspondence between your characters by post-card/letter/e-mail/twitter/SMS. You could create a fictitious play where they all appear in. You can be as creative as you wish with this element and take them to Mars if you fancy….

You will be the person you initiates the first questions to your characters and you will have to introduce them to each other. From then onwards you will be the narrator/interviewer and they will also want to speak to each other. This might then start a debate about the merits of modernism/post-modernism or any other issue the may have a bee in their bonnet or issue with.

You must start investigating and researching into your characters straight away, as this will be what you will base your questions on and will help you create and exciting and dynamic story. It is a flight of fantasy and is not real but will be based of the facts, works and words of your characters lives. You will create an extensive bibliography, which will be attached to this written text, as you WILL look for as many books/websites/films/journals articles about your characters and their lives and the worlds they lived in.

You MUST include in text referencing in this work. So you would say: (YOU) Dear Marcel Duchamp many thanks for being here today in is a great honour and pleasure. My first question is that, according to your friend and writer, Pierre Cabanne (1987) in his fascinating book Dialogues With Marcel Duchamp he asks you what your greatest regret was? Can you remember what you said” (MD) Yes of course I can remember as if it was yesterday day, I said, ‘I don’t have any. I’ve missed nothing.’ (Cabanne 1987 p15)

You must find a way of incorporating as many images of your characters work as possible into your chosen scenario and therefore the written text. If you are sending postcards for instance, send them images of your own work and they will then send you and each other images of their work. If in a café/bar they may have their portfolio/smart phone with them and they can introduce themselves through their work. They and you can then critique this work and a heated debate might arise. These images also must be referenced in full in a list, which can go wherever you like in this text. Your scenario might end up in an argument and one of your characters flouncing out in a huff.

 The elements of this text will be:

1. A title. It should be a hook and make the reader want to read your story.

2. An Introduction by yourself to the scenario you have imaginatively chosen for you people to come together and converse and a short introduction to these people and their lives.

3. The main text written as a continuous narrated dialogue between you are your characters and between each other, whether in the form of a script, letters, novel dialogue. As the narrator you are the questioner/interviewer/referee and the person who describes what is happening.

4. A conclusion where you sum up what happened and your thoughts on the events that have just ensued. A good ending is always important.

5. A list of illustrations which tells the reader exactly who took/made the image the date it was made where you got it from and when you accessed it, if in was from and on-line source.

6. A bibliography, which has FULL references for each source of information, you have used or looked at during your research. You MUST not just include an URL, there should be an author, date, title, site, URL, when access information included.

If in doubt look at: Guide to the Harvard System of Referencing http://bit.ly/12eP1Wt

You will be graded using the Undergraduate Marking Criteria Matrix: http://bit.ly/Z9L58o

 HAND IN DATE: Wednesday 24 April 2013 by 4pm.

You will hand in a hard copy to the Student Office in E-Block AND email me a single PDF file to m.ingham@arts.ac.uk

///

PDF of the Brief: Who Do You Think You Are?

///

Who Do You Think You Are?/Don’t You Know Who I Am?

Your Characters: 

You + Your Modernity Character Your Post Modernist Character Your Other Choices
Akemi Nagaya = Florence Nightingale Stefan Sagmeister
Alexandra Compton = Suzanne Valadon Neville Brody
Andrew Morris = Richard Wagner April Greiman
Anna Gordon = Hubert Henry Harrison Paula Scher
Alex Heron = Julia Margaret Cameron Robert Mapplethorpe
Alice Lees = Charles Darwin Jean-Michel Basquiat
Akshitha Victor = Peter Behrens Marian Bantjes
Alexandra Joan Whiting = Alice Meynell Wolfgang Weingart
Benjamin Brookes = Pablo Picasso Janet Allinger
Benjamin Greehy = Dorothy Richardson Jeffrey Keedy
Carl Bresnahan = Marcel Duchamp Cady Noland
Celeste Morton = Natalie Barney Dan Friedman
Callum Pepper = Jeanne Paquin Willi Kunz
Charlotte Pruce = Guillaume Apollinaire Ellen Lupton
Cassia Soper = Sonia Delaunay Andy Worhol
Danielle Field = ? Valentina Grego
Derrelle Goodhall = ? Peter Saville
Elvn Seet Seet = Emily Carr Malcolm Garret
Emily Hicks = Édouard Manet Kara Walker
Emma Williams = Max Ernst Kristen Nikosey
Florence Fairweather = Käthe Kollwitz Barney Bubbles
Francine Oliver = ‘Nella’ Larsen Jamie Reid
Declan Farrell = Jan Zrzavý Louise Fili
Georgia Coleman = Berthe Morisot David Lachapelle
Georgina Marot = John Ruskin Louise Bourgeois
George Selwyn-Brace = Gertrude Stein Cliff Roman
George Farrell = Francis Picabia Tracy Emin
Grace Arnott-Hayes = Xul Solar Deborah Sussman
Grant Schofield = Charles Baudelaire Rachel Whiteread
Harriet Leyden = Stéphane Mallarmé Katherine McCoy
Henry Lloyd = Friedrich Nietzsche Liz McQusiton
Hannah Wadham = “Coco” Chanel Edward Fella
Hannah Williams = Nadezhda Udaltsova Jonathan Barnbrook
Isabella Campbell-Pepe = Natalia Goncharova Rick Valicenti
Imogen Farrell = Vanessa Bell Tibor Kalan
Imogen Stanley = Mary Jane Seacole David Carson
Irina Wang = Charles Rennie Mackintosh J. Abbot Miller
Jasmine Bradley = László Moholy-Nagy Sophie Calle
Jackson Griggs = Henri Bergson Yayoi Kusama
Jingwen Zhu = Paul Gauguin Marina Abramović
Joshua Kwan = Sigmund Freud Teal Triggs
Kentaro Takeda = Nina Genke-Meller Jake Tilson
Kimberleigh Phillips-Page = Madeleine Chéruit  Robert Rauschenberg
Joyce Wang =  El Lissitzky Jenny Holzer
Jay Joo Kim = Henry Van de Velde Cindy Sherman
Lily Biswell = Giorgio de Chirico Yoko Ono
Louie Isaaman-Jones = Carl Jung Annette Messager
Louise Nyborg = Edward Johnston Annie Leibovitz
Lingna Yuwen = Jean Rhys Bruce Nuaman
Marilyn Baker = Georgia O’Keeffe Keith Haring
Mika Shahabudin = Henrik Ibsen Barbara Kruger
Miranda Bene = Pan Yuliang Judy Chicago
Rosa Min Jung Kang = Rosa Luxemburg Francis Alÿs
Nanna Goransson = Lou Andreas-Salomé Gabriel Orozco
Natalie Ridge = Eric Gill Sarah Lucas
Penny Whitehouse = Marie Curie Joseph Beuys
Phoebe Willison = Harriet Powers Jasper Johns
Richard Sanderson = Karl Marx Janet Cardiff
Roman Cadafalch = Albert Einstein Vanessa Beecroft
Riona Moore = Ada Lovelace Dan Graham
Rachel Tweedy = Hannah Höch Robert Smithson
Sophie Bosworth = Georges Seurat Mariko Mori
Sophie Cliffe = Elsie de Wolfe Christo
Stella Murphy = Virginia Woolf Nam June Paik
Stacey Tianyi Ran = William H. Bradley Eva Hesse
Veronika Cesalova = William Morris

Viicke Biggs + Olga + Paul Macarthy

 

Ana Mendieta

William Horne = Ogura Yuki Lothar Baumgarten
Woosung Um = Mary Cassatt Ed Kienholz

Modernists you may also choose from and anybody else you wish

Marcel Breuer, Serge Chermayeff, Theo van Doesburg, Naum Gabo, Hannes Meyer, László Moholy-Nagy, Anna Akhmatova, Mário de Andrade, Ivan Cankar, Constantine P. Cavafy, Joseph Conrad, Alfred Döblin, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle), T. S. Eliot, William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald, E. M. Forster, Ernest Hemingway, Max Jacob, James Joyce Franz Kafka.D. H. Lawrence, Wyndham Lewis, Thomas Mann, Eugene O’Neill, Fernando Pessoa, Mário de Sá-Carneiro, Ezra Pound, Marcel Proust, Rainer Maria Rilke, Wallace Stevens, Paul Valéry, Frank Wedekind, Virginia Woolf, W. B. Yeats, Billy Apple, Evelyne Axell, Sir Peter Blake, Derek Boshier, Pauline Boty, Patrick Caulfield, Jim Dine, Rosalyn Drexler, James Gill, Richard Hamilton, Jann Haworth, David Hockney, Dorothy Iannone, Robert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Allen Jones, Alex Katz, Corita Kent, Kiki Kogelnik, Yayoi Kusama, Roy Lichtenstein, Marta Minujin, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Claes Oldenburg, Julian Opie, Eduardo Paolozzi, Peter Phillips, Sigmar Polke, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Niki de Saint Phalle, Peter Saul, George Segal, Colin Self, Marjorie Strider, Aya Takano, Tom Wesselmann

///

Happiness Machines.

Part one documents the story of the relationship between Sigmund Freud and his American nephew, Edward Bernays who invented Public Relations in the 1920s, being the first person to take Freud’s ideas to manipulate the masses.

This series is about how those in power have used Freud’s theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy. Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, changed the perception of the human mind and its workings profoundly.

His influence on the 20th century is widely regarded as massive. The documentary describes the impact of Freud’s theories on the perception of the human mind, and the ways public relations agencies and politicians have used this during the last 100 years for their engineering of consent. Among the main characters are Freud himself and his nephew Edward Bernays, who was the first to use psychological techniques in advertising. He is often seen as the father of the public relations industry.

Freud’s daughter Anna Freud, a pioneer of child psychology, is mentioned in the second part, as well as Wilhelm Reich, one of the main opponents of Freud’s theories. Along these general themes, The Century of the Self asks deeper questions about the roots and methods of modern consumerism, representative democracy and its implications. It also questions the modern way we see ourselves, the attitude to fashion and superficiality.

///

The Century Of The Self 1 of 4 | One: Happiness Machines

///

The Century of The Self Part 2 of 4

///

The Century of The Self Part 3 of 4

///

The Century of The Self Part 4 of 4.

///

The Century Of  Self (FULL: Episodes 1-4)

///

Grids – Rosalind Krauss

Source: October, Vol. 9 (Summer, 1979), pp. 50-64
Published by: The MIT Press

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/778321

krauss-grids PDF

http://uncopy.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/krauss-grids.pdf

///

Extract

“In the early part of this century there began to appear, first in France and then in Russia and in Holland, a structure that has remained emblematic of the modernist ambition within the visual arts ever since. Surfacing in pre-War cubist painting and subsequently becoming ever more stringent and manifest, the grid announces, among other things, modern art’s will to silence, its hostility to literature, to narrative, to discourse. As such, the grid has done its job with striking efficiency. The barrier it has lowered between the arts of vision and those of language has been almost totally successful in walling the visual arts into a realm of exclusive visuality and defending them against the intrusion of speech. The arts, of course, have paid dearly for this success, because the fortress they constructed on the foundation of the grid has increasingly become a ghetto. Fewer and fewer voices from the general critical establishment have been raised in support, appreciation, or analysis of the contemporary plastic arts. 

Yet it is safe to say that no form within the whole of modern aesthetic
production has sustained itself so relentlessly while at the same time being so
impervious to change. It is not just the sheer number of careers that have been
devoted to the exploration of the grid that is impressive, but the fact that never
could exploration have chosen less fertile ground. As the experience of Mondrian
amply demonstrates, development is precisely what the grid resists. But no one
seems to have been deterred by that example, and modernist practice continues to
generate ever more instances of grids.”

///

Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns. Gray Numbers. 1958

///

Tron Lightbike Scene

///

A Brief History of Grids

By Lucienne Roberts

http://www.graphics.com/modules.php?name=Sections&op=viewarticle&artid=620

Extract

This spread and throw-out is from Jan Tschichold’s seminal workAsymmetric Typography, originally published in 1935. In it Tschichold argued that typographic consistency is a necessary precursor to understanding, and described designers as akin to engineers. His work was nevertheless aesthetically refined and dynamic. Here he explains the parallels between abstract art and typographic layout.

de Stijl, the Bauhaus, and Jan Tschichold
In 1917 Dutch architect, designer, and painter Theo van Doesburg founded de Stijl. The importance of this movement to the grid is that it explored form as determined by function, and placed this in a political context. Arguing that simplicity of form was accessible and democratic, its members advocated minimalism, using only rectilinear forms, and eradicating surface decoration other than as a byproduct of a limited color palette: the primaries plus black and white. The typographers affiliated to de Stijl wanted to apply these ideas in the real world, not just for their artistic cause. Designers like Piet Zwart and Paul Schuitema used these principles to produce commercial advertising and publicity materials.

The Bauhaus opened its doors in Weimar, Germany, in 1919, with the architect Walter Gropius as its Director. His belief that architecture, graphic art, industrial design, painting, sculpture, and so on were all interrelated had a profound impact on the development of typography and graphic design long after the school was forced to close by the Nazis in the 1930s. Within an astonishingly short period of time, graphic artists were marrying analytical skills with abstract form to arrive at mass-produced designs determined as much by political idealism as by a desire for self-expression. In 1925, Herbert Bayer was appointed to run the new printing and advertising work-shop. He paid attention to typographic detail, experimenting with a limited typographic palette in order to achieve greater visual clarity and easily navigable pages.

During the late 1920s and the 1930s, typographer Jan Tschichold set out his typographic principles in two seminal books: The New Typography (1928), and Asymmetric Typography (1935). Tschichold’s work was more refined than much of that which had preceded it. He wrote of typographic consistency as a necessary precursor to understanding, described designers as akin to engineers, and argued compellingly for asymmetry as a central tenet of modernism. It was the logical way to lay out text that is read from left to right, and produced “natural” rather than “formalist” solutions to the new design challenges than classicism, with its enforced central axis. In his work Tschichold explored subtle horizontal and vertical alignments, and used a limited range of fonts, type sizes, and type weights.

Several post-War Swiss designers are the best-known exponents of the grid. This spread is from Josef Müller-Brockmann’s Grid Systems in Graphic Design, in which he explains, in meticulous detail, how multicolumn and field-based grids can be used flexibly to achieve any number of different layouts, in both 2-D and 3-D work.
The ingenuity of the “A” paper sizing system appeals to designers who are interested in modular approaches to design. For the true modernist, working with standard paper sizing is more economic and celebrates mass production. But, for designers who want to usurp the system, there are countless ways to subdivide the sheet sizes to arrive at more unusual formats.

The Grid and Swiss Typography
Early modernists had explored layout, space, and scale. They had talked of the democratizing benefits of mass production, and had used the language of science as much as art. They had argued for consistency and minimalism as a mark of design confidence and greater accessibility. During WWII, and in the decades that followed, these ideas coalesced into a coherent design manifesto with a new design device at its core—the grid.

The grid and Swiss typography are synonymous. Switzerland was neutral during the war. Not only did it attract many intellectual refugees, including designers like Jan Tschichold, but also most peacetime activities continued as normal, and supplies of such things as ink and paper weren’t rationed. Added to this, publications had to be set in its three official languages—French, German, and Italian—which called for a modular approach, using multiple column structures.

Several Swiss artist/designers, most notably Max Bill and Richard Paul Lohse, explored systematic forms in their paintings concurrently with graphic design, while the graphic designers Emil Ruder and Josef Müller-Brockmann both wrote educative texts explaining what grids were and how to use them. They approached the subject with great rigor, arguing passionately that “integral design” required structures that would unite all the elements in both 2-D and 3-D design: type, pictures, diagrams, and space itself. Despite their enthusiasm for order and precision, they both understood the value of artistic intuition.

“No system of ratios, however ingenious, can relieve the typographer of deciding how one value should be related to another… He must spare no effort to tutor his feeling for proportion… He must know intuitively when the tension between several things is so great that harmony is endangered. But he must also know how to avoid relationships lacking in tension since these lead to monotony.”
Emil Ruder, Typography

The grid and the design philosophy of which it is a part have been criticized for placing the narcissistic designer at the heart of the solution, and generating formulaic solutions that are mechanistic, unyielding, and rigid. But for Ruder, Müller-Brockmann, and many other designers since, the grid was the natural response to a design problem. It was also a metaphor for the human condition, and was found in all areas of human endeavor.

“Just as in nature, systems of order govern the growth and structure of animate and inanimate matter, so human activity itself has, since the earliest times, been distinguished by the quest for order… The desire to bring order to the bewildering confusion of appearances reflects a deep human need.”
Josef Müller-Brockmann, Grid Systems in Graphic Design

Josef Müller-Brockmann Animated Posters

///

Chuck Close explains why he follows a grid 

Chuck Close explains why he follows a grid

///

ARTIST SERIES: David Carson

///

All Eyes on View
Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 01:55 am › Steven Heller

20130102-163841.jpg

You may have seen View magazine before. It is not one of the forgotten ones. It is a legendary one that is always interesting to revisit. It was edited by John Henri Ford, a surrealist poet from Mississippi. View included writing and art by Paul Bowles, Philip Lamantia, Harold Rosenberg, Aaron Copland, and Marcel Duchamp, among others. The issue below with Duchamp’s cover is devoted to the artist who designed the collage pages inside. The Morris Hirshfield primitive covers an issue on “The Macabre.” And look at the advertisement below for The New School art classes—some great teachers made the grade.

The following text is excerpted from my book Merz to Emigre and Beyond: Avant Garde Magazine Design of the Twentieth Century:

View: Through the Eyes of Poet’s New York’s first Surrealist journal appeared in September 1940 as a six-page tabloid. Edited by poet Charles Henri Ford, the former American editor for the London Bulletin, the British surrealist revue published by the London Gallery between 1938 and 1940, View’s mission for its seven year duration (36 numbers in 32 issues) was to fill the void of European avant garde periodicals that ceased with the war. Ford positioned his publication between the “little magazine” transition (the vanguard journal edited in Paris by Eugene Jolas and Elliot Paul between 1927 and 1938) and Minotaure. After View’s 1941 “Surrealist issue” edited by Nicolas Calas it became the most important American surrealist publication, featuring text and visual contributions from all the principles in the circle.

20130102-164056.jpg

20130102-164107.jpg

By 1943 View shifted from the tabloid to a more standard magazine format printed on slick paper with full color covers and the occasional gatefold. This increased the financial burden of production that the maximum 3000 paid circulation did not cover, so to maintain a regular quarterly publishing schedule Ford accepted relatively expensive advertisements for fashions and perfumes, among those already for books, periodicals, and other cultural events. Associate editor, Parker Tyler was in charge of View’s typography and graphic design and produced a highly sophisticated graphic persona on a par with Minotaure and yet unique to View. The covers created by Surrealist standard bearers, Andre Masson, Man Ray, Kurt Seligmann, and Marcel Duchamp, as well as other modern artists, Alexander Calder, Fernand Léger, and Georgia O’Keeffe, were the most adventuresome of any American magazine. Moreover, these were not paintings arbitrarily placed on the covers but images designed especially for this venue. Occasionally, the common View masthead (set in a Bodoni typeface) was designed by the cover artist: Isamu Noguchi’s 1946 cover is a superb example of this transformation: Here the letters of View are sculptural elements reading diagonally down the page and bracketing the sculpture is the centerpiece of the cover.

View covered the Dada experience and introduced the key surrealists to New York. Andre Breton’s first American interview was published here. An entire issue (1942) was devoted to Max Ernst with article on him by Breton; and a spectacular issue (1945) featured Duchamp, complete with layouts designed by the artist — this being the first monograph ever published of his work. An essay by Peter Lindamood describes the technical machinations involved in, and thereby demystifies, the creation of Duchamp’s View cover, a montage of a smoking wine bottle. He explained how this master of “art-plumbing expediency” rigged up a smoke pipe under the bottle and then manipulated the various halftone layers to achieve the desired effect. In this and other articles View gave Surrealist art a human context that was curiously absent in the pseudo-scientific and hyper analytic writing found in the earlier European journals.

Coverage of the European vanguard was only a part of the editorial menu. Ford felt a duty to bridge the transatlantic gap by bringing Americans into the Surrealist fold and in 1943 View was the first to publish Joseph Cornell’s earliest “found art” compositions (“The Crystal Cage: Portrait of Berenice”). It gave outlet to the emerging American vanguard writers and artist-writers, including Henry Miller, Marianne Moore, William Carlos Williams, Alexander Calder, and others. But Ford also published the naïve and self-taught Surrealists, notably the African-American artist Paul Childs. Morris Hirshfield, whose beguilingly detailed and folk paintings were discovered by Sidney Janis in the thirties, was also part of the View community. Hirshfield’s 1945 cover intricately rendered cover of a cleverly veiled nude was surrealism at its most slyly innocent.

20130102-164326.jpg

20130102-164343.jpg

View celebrated the artist as visionary and Surrealism as a wellspring of artistic eccentricity. In its role as avant garde seer the magazine overstepped the bounds of propriety, and therefore in 1944 was banned by the U.S. Postal Service presumably for publishing nudes by Picasso and Michelangelo. However, despite its confrontational stance and the debates about Marxism, Communism, and Trotskyism that were carried on in European Surrealist circles, View did not advocate ideological political activity, but rather supported the right of individual artistic freedom – and eclecticism. “View’s editors thought it delusional to believe that art could ever serve any cause other than its own,” wrote Catrina Neiman in View: Parade of the Avant-Garde (Thunder Mouth Press, New York, 1991), who further notes while certain poets of the day urged opposition to the inevitable world war, “View printed no editorials denouncing the war.” Though it did maintain a pacifist stance that supported conscientious objection.

View caused its share of acrimony among the skirmishing groups who sought dominance for their respective art forms. Surrealism was not universally admired, and The Partisan Review, a left-leaning intellectual journal, declared that Surrealism was both decadent and dead, endorsed abstract art as the new avant garde art. This was no mere preferential disagreement but a contest for what genre and which artists would dominate the museums, galleries, and private collections. View tried to preserve Surrealism’s importance and so ignored competing arts. Yet this advocacy was not so much militancy over an ideological cause, but a campaign for the hegemony of style.

View was a significant outlet for Surrealism it was also uncommitted to the movement as a “party,” and thus became an instrument for popularizing the avant garde. Surrealism as a style was, no pun intended, ready-made as an advertising trope. “Ford did not disdain commercial avenues of support,” states Catrina Neiman, “…on the contrary, he knew not only how to navigate capitalism but hoe to appreciate (appropriate) its imagery, namely through the lens of camp, a ‘view’ that converged with surrealism then and with Pop Art twenty years later.” Despite the paid advertising, however, View ceased publishing in 1949.

For more Steven Heller, check out The Education of an Art Director—one of the many Heller titles available at MyDesignShop.com.

Categories: Daily Heller, Steven Heller
Tags: Daily Heller, Steven Heller, View magazine

Read more: All Eyes on View | Imprint-The Online Community for Graphic Designers

///

%d bloggers like this: