Philippe Apeloig’s new show at Tokyo’s Ginza Graphic Gallery is an ode to the renowned Parisian designer.
Apeloig, whose work is performed at numerous cultural facilities such as Musée d’Orsay and the Louvre, is continuously expanding the global scope of his artistic activities as one of France’s leading contemporary graphic designers.
Apeloig says he was greatly inspired by Modernism, and he is an ardent admirer of painting, the performing arts, and literature. His works are characterized by their bold and rhythmical typography.
Out of the surface of his posters – a two-dimensional form – the typography dances in three dimensions, creating a story that grabs the viewer’s attention with its highly charged emotion.
His type designs and logos of recent years, expressed through robust use of animation, are infused with extremely natural movement. Light as could be, they jump about as if they were dancing.
Philippe Apeloig's new show at ggg comes on the heels of two major shows he has held in Europe in recent years. In 2013 Apeloig mounted a grand retrospective exhibition, titled “Typorama,” at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris; and in 2015 he held “Using Type,” a solo exhibition focused on his typographic posters, at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
His upcoming show at ggg will showcase Apeloig’s ambitious works of recent and new vintage. His package designs for Issey Miyake Parfums – for the 2017 summer fragrances line (L’Eau d’Issey and L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme) and holiday coffret – demonstrate Apeloig’s approach from the theme of “Typography & Landscape.” The L’Eau d’Issey font was designed specially for that project based on the product’s iconic bottle silhouette. In the process, Apeloig’s unique typography has created an all-new world for L’Eau d’Issey.
The show will introduce Apeloig’s latest works, including an unprecedented foray into designing Sèvres porcelain and Hermès' Roland Barthes scarf, as well as numerous dynamic posters, and pop fonts and logos that, in spite of appearances, are designed meticulously. The show will give all visitors an opportunity to gain a deep appreciation of the supreme artistry and widespread appeal of the diverse his works.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue edited by art critic Steven Heller.
Philippe Apeloig was born in Paris in 1962 and studied at the École Supérieure des Arts Appliqués Duperré and the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD). After two transformative internships at Total Design in Amsterdam, he was hired as a graphic designer at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris in 1985.
In 1987, after receiving a scholarship from the French Foreign Ministry, Apeloig left the Orsay and moved to Los Angeles to study and work with April Greiman. On his return to Paris, he established his own studio. In 1993, he won a fellowship at the French Academy in Rome, where he researched and designed typefaces. In 1997, Apeloig became a design consultant for the Louvre, then six years later, its art director, a post he held until 2008.
From 1992 to 1998, Apeloig taught typography at ENSAD. While teaching part-time at the Rhode Island School of Design in the U.S., he applied for and was appointed full-time professor of graphic design at the Cooper Union School of Art in New York. He began his new post in 1999, then was made curator of the School’s Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography in 2000. He held the dual post until 2003, when he returned to Paris to run his own studio.
Apeloig’s design compositions have won numerous prizes, including 1995 Tokyo Type Directors Club Gold Prize, Hong Kong International Poster Triennial 2007 Gold Prize, and the Overall Prize at the 2009 International Society of Typographic Designers Award in London. He contributed to recent blockbuster exhibitions by designing posters for “Yves Saint Laurent” in Paris (2010). Apeloig has also created numerous visual identities and logos for nonprofits, governmental agencies, and businesses ranging from Festival de l'histoire de l'art in Fontainebleau, the Orient Express, the Théâtre du Châtelet, the Direction des Musées de France, and the silversmith Puiforcat.
Apeloig is currently working with Jean Nouvel on the way finding system for the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. He has also created the logo and the corporate visual identity of the forthcoming Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech.
In 2013, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris presented his first major retrospective. At this occasion the Museum and Thames & Hudson published Typorama which brings together 30 years of his graphic work. In 2015, the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam held the exhibition “Using Type” which focused on Apeloig’s typographic posters.
Philippe Apeloig is a longstanding member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and was made a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2011.
“Apeloiggg” is on view until 16 September. For more information, visit the Ginza Graphic Gallery website here.