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  • Enter Andreas Xenoulis’ TypoCreatures realm of demons

    “This is a type illustration project of numerous legendary demons that appear in religion, theology, Christian demonology and mythology” writes Corn Studio’s Andreas Xenoulis of his new TypoCreatures project.

    “Inspired by Christian demonology and the demons’ characteristics I illustrated eight demons/creatures just by using type. Considering letters as shapes each illustration was structured one by one with the usage of Pirate Ship font. The typographic illustration experiments reflect the appearance of each demon according to how they are described and depicted on books such as The Lesser Key of Solomon (also known as Clavicula Salomonis Regis or Lemegeton, an anonymous grimoire or spell book on demonology), Dictionnaire Infernal by Jacques Auguste Simon Collin de Plancy and on paintings of various anonymous or known painters combined with the designers’ fantasy” comments Xenoulis.

    Check his creatures here.

    02Mar
  • Trading Words is the new typographic installation at London Docks

    Weird words that used to ring around London’s docks in the trading heydays will be revived again for an art installation at a major waterside regeneration project, reports the Wharf.

    “Esparto Powder", “Sweep washers’ Dirt” and “Drugget” alongside dozens of other rich phrases, comprise the typographical installation at London Docks, the 1.800 home development at Wapping created by renowned artist Gordon Young, in conjunction with graphic designer Andy Altman of Why Not Associates.

    Trading Words is the first work in London for Young who is renowned for his large-scale installations, including The Comedy Carpet in Blackpool. The artist specializes in creating public art works which become part of daily life and reflect his passion for literature and poetry” writes the report.

    “The lists and inventories of items, which had crossed the site over the past centuries, are so lengthy that they seem to stretch into infinity and beyond. They came into existence because every word had a value attached. Andy and I distilled the words into a confection which made us curious and think of them as a poetic representation of this immense tide of things from all over the globe, which happened to accumulate in this spot in east London” said Young.

    Based on the historic rates and tariff-books which list goods imported and exported via London over the last 400 years, Trading Words brings the past to present through letters.

    Trading Words was  officially unveiled on Wednesday February 22, and will be accompanied by a pop-up exhibition that will runs until April.

    Explore it here.

    Images by Lee Mawdsley / www.leemawdsley.co.uk

    28Feb
  • Let’s crowd-fund a book celebrating the “Great British Rubbish”

    The story goes as such, a museum run by Stella Mitchell, an esteemed ephemera collector - she has been collecting British ephemera for over 40 years, and her archive of thousands of items, is a truly unique portrait of British society through the goods we throw away - and a Kickstarter campaign.

    “Help us to capture this museum’s incredible collection of rubbish in a not-so-throw-away, beautiful book” says Patrick Fry of this campaign. The task is to publish a 272 page case-bound book celebrating the collection of the Land of Lost Content, a museum dedicated to British ephemera.

    The book will contain 50 beautifully photographed items from the collection, each with a short story, as well as a visual tour of the museum and essays from Professor Teal Triggs and Dr Robert Banham. It will be a collection of tales from the past that is hidden and tucked away in rural Shropshire, in a town called Craven Arms.

    The Land of Lost Content is a well kept secret. This independent museum containing Britain’s foremost collection of pop culture ephemera, obscure objects and ordinary things from the pre digital era, is the work of a lifetime eccentric artist and compulsive obsessive collector Stella Mitchell.

    “This museum is the result of a lifetime’s work” says Mitchell. “I realised when a student, that other museums were ignoring the lives, experiences and possessions (and the hopes and dreams) of the ‘ordinary’ people of Britain. I was always fired with the desire to right this wrong; and fuelled with the artistic need to create something of merit that might just knock a few peoples’ socks off! My husband Dave and I opened our first museum to the public in 1991 – we have run it on a web of shoestrings ever since – no sign of funding (but we didn’t look for it too hard). 99% of the collection has been chosen by me over about 45 years and increases daily – and the displays are reconfigured and updated annually” she adds.

    “We are splitting the funding up to help finish the book, print copies and pay the contributors a small fee. We don’t intend to make any profit on this project, it really is a labour of love and a chance to celebrate this amazing museum.”

    Save the memories here.

    23Feb
  • Ellies 2017: California Sunday Magazine the winner in design

    The Ellie Awards honor print and digital publications that consistently demonstrate superior execution of editorial objectives, innovative techniques, noteworthy journalistic enterprise and imaginative design. Founded in 1966, the awards are sponsored by the American Society of Magazine Editors in association with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and are administered by ASME. Known as the Ellies for the elephant-shaped statuettes presented to each winner,this year marked the 52nd presentation of the awards. The first ever award was presented to Look in 1966; and the first digital journalism award was presented to Money in 1997.

    The winners of the 2017 National Magazines Awards for Print and Digital Media were announced recently at the Ellie Awards Annual Gala at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Mother Jones was named Magazine of the Year for having “found new ways to engage audiences and continue its practice of fearless journalism."

    More than 500 magazine editors and publishers attended the 2017 Ellie Awards lunch, with sixty-four media organizations honored as finalists in 20 categories.“A look at these finalists and winners explains why the Ellie Awards have become the most prestigious awards for both print and digital media in the United States” said Sid Holt, chief executive of ASME. “Magazine editors are taking on the challenge of a changing marketplace—a changing America—by finding new ways to tell stories about the way we live now. Whether we honor websites, video, social media, GIFs or not-so-old-fashioned reporting and writing, the publications we recognize today are showing the way forward.”

    In the Design category which honors overall excellence in magazine design, the winner is a publication we featured before it was even launched. “The California Sunday Magazine celebrates the visual culture of the American West while exuding utter confidence in the power of print.Thanks to the visual instinct of Leo Jung, CSM’s Creative Director, the magazine has established itself as a magazine that matters. This is what visual storytelling can and should be”. Other finalists in the design category were: Bon Appétit, GQ, New York, The Pitchfork Review

    To see the complete list of Ellies 2017 winners and finalists, click here.

    22Feb
  • Jannis Kounellis, Arte Povera’s leading figure, passed away

    The Greek-Italian artist Jannis Kounellis, one of the leading figures of the Arte Povera movement, died in Rome’s Villa Mafalda hospital, aged 80, according to Italian media reports.

    Born in Piraeus, Greece in 1936, the artist moved to Rome at the age of 20 to study at the Academy of Fine Arts and since then has considered the Eternal City his adopted home, where he continued to live and work. He had his first solo exhibition in 1960 at La Tartaruga gallery, a regular stomping ground for the city’s artists and intellectuals, but perhaps his most famous early show was in 1969, when he displayed 12 live horses in Rome’s Attic Gallery. (The work was recently recreated by New York’s Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in June 2015.)

    “Kounellis was known for his use of lowly, often earthy materials in his work—coal, jute bags, steel, piles of stones—which tied him to the Arte Povera artists who used similarly “poor” media. The artist took part in the Venice Biennale for the first time in 1972 and became a regular contributor to the international exhibition” reports The Art Newspaper.

    The Art Newspaper interviewed the artist in April 2010, soon after it was announced that he would be taking part in the Vatican’s first pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. When we asked him what he thought of Pope Benedict XVI’s call for artists to embark on a “quest for beauty”, Kounellis told us this:

    “The Greeks used to say that beauty is like time; it changes: a person can be beautiful in the morning and not be so in the afternoon. A ‘form’ of beauty does not exist. Formalisation or clarity, on the other hand, are part of the family of beauty. Loving, too, is part of this family. If the Church says this, if it speaks of beauty in this sense, I am in favour of the Church. But if by beauty it means something else, I am opposed to it.”

    Over the years, he has exhibited several solo shows at international museums including the Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens (2012), Tate Modern, London (2009), the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2007), the Albertina, Vienna (2005), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1996), the Castello di Rivoli, Turin (1988), the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (1982) and the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (1981).

    White Cube’s exhibition on Kounellis’ very first works, the “Alfabeto” series of works on paper and paintings, reminded the importance of symbols in his work. The exhibition offered a review of Kounellis’ artistic development through a reconsideration of these early masterpieces.

    The ‘Alfabeto’ series, works on paper and canvas, begun around 1958 while he was still a student in Rome. Using black tempera, ink, enamel or acrylic paint on a white ground of paper, cardboard or canvas – either singly or combined – they feature black stenciled numbers, letters, mathematical symbols and arrows. The first exhibition of these works, described later by Kounellis as ‘a hermetic rhythmic writing in space’, was titled L’alfabeto di Kounellis, and was held at Galleria La Tartaruga, the first gallery for contemporary art set-up in Rome. This was followed by two further shows in 1964, 1966, and a third, also in 1966, at Galleria Arco D’Alibert, Rome.

    The letters, signs and numbers in these paintings are repeated, overlaid, fragmented or inverted, creating a new visual language. Always impersonal and regularized, the result of their stencilled application, they are painted in a textural and imperfect manner, reflecting both the hand-made quality of these and also the smooth industrial production methods used in the signs and advertising of the street. Kounellis has analogized these works to frescoes, saying that: ‘They were not pictures as such, all the canvases derived from the measurements of the house, in which I lived. They referred to the wall. In fact, I used to stretch the canvas or the sheet, right up to the limits of the corners of the wall, the painting ended there […] it was like taking off a fresco, since the canvases or sheets had the form and breadth of the walls of the room […]. The letters or painted signs, they came however from forms which I prepared out of hard cardboard. They were printed, not calligraphic but structural’. Jannis Kounellis, Works, Writings 1958-2000, Ediciones Poligrafa S.A.(2001), p.71

    With these works, Kounellis moved his painting away from abstract formalism and towards a more conceptual discourse. Moreover, like other works from the period, they register a transformation occurring in Italy during the time, with the influence of American culture and specifically a culture of consumption; what the Italian art historian Giuliano Briganti has defined as ‘a break with the past, a provocative action’. Following this series, Kounellis began to introduce found objects into his works, including actual street signs, creating a convergence of painting, sculpture and performance.

    “My sights were focussed on Informalism at that point, on [Jean] Fautrier in particular, as a protraction of traditional painting. I still saw the survival of an illusion, of a … centrality in those works: a centrality of the universe, of painting, even of the role of the artist, which doesn’t seem particularly relevant to our era. That’s what these paintings of mine with recognizable and significant characters and letters meant to the viewer, nothing beyond what they see. But not to me. They indicated the names of my favorites at the time” he said in Codognato and d’Argenzio 2002, p.237.

    17Feb