Art of Design is an exhibition that is meant to evoke questions
about the relationship between fine art and design in present day culture.
In 1972 John Berger, in
The Ways of Seeing, articulated the various ways that publicity
differed from fine art. He held the view that the function of painting
(fine art) “suggested cultural authority, a form of dignity, even
of wisdom, which is superior to any vulgar material interests…
Publicity is the culture of consumer society. It propagates through
images that society’s belief in itself.”
Whether design is used for promotion of a product, propaganda or dissemination
of information, it shares with fine arts the use of color, line, shape
and form. Both design and fine art draw from a common toolbox of materials
to express a message. Using these tools, each artist crafts his distinct
and divergent expression. This exhibition questions the hierarchical
viewpoint that places fine art above design and intends to deepen the
vision of the audience and the artist in relationship to these two choices
of expression. It also examines how both fine art and graphic design
is expressed in the life of each of these artists. Herein are examples
of artists whose creative output lies in equal depth in both arenas.
Hahn, whose paintings have appeared as images for
the New Yorker, covers for Time Magazine, and book jackets, exhibits
exquisitely crafted works that mix the personal with social/political
overtones, flavored with whimsy and a sense of mystery.
Lakich, founder of the Museum of Neon Art and principal
designer of Out of the Closet stores, creates powerfully charged iconic
sculptures in neon. These sculptures draw images from pop culture with
light and line.
Nishio designs her own artist books as well as catalogs
for museum exhibitions, Iyengar Yoga publications, and social announcements.
While utilizing a variety of media including video, sculpture, installation,
text-based printmaking, photography and performance, she focuses on
the belief that one’s perception is influenced by upbringing and
how one thinks.
Odgers is the creator of diverse design projects
such as Olympic poster 1984, Space Mats and publicity for Charles Eames
Furniture Company, (Herman Miller). Odgers also makes cubist paintings,
photographs and humorous, Kachina-like paint tube sculptures.
Pritchard primarily designs functional objects such
as dinnerware, elegant crystal (vessels, packaging and promotion), food
packaging in addition to diverse commercial brochures. Pritchard also
creates figurative sculpture and warm pleinair paintings and still lifes.
Takei has created logos for such businesses as Erewhon
and Modena as well as creating posters and publicity information for
dance, museums and theater. In his finely crafted sculptural works,
Takei alters everyday objects, humorously tweaking proportion and perspective.
Vigon has authored a book with images from dreams,
album/CD covers, numerous promotional projects for such companies as
Paramount and UCLA Center for Performing Arts. Vigon also exhibits illustrated
journals and large-scale digital prints taken from his paintings on
paper that combine handwritten text with imagery.
Curator El Camino College Art Gallery
on Picture to view enlargement
Rising Sun, 1991
Ukiyo-Re-mix Series/Bento, 2005
20x14" transparent watercolor on Rives BFK
for international edition
(Asia) of Time Magazine, 1996
watercolor on Rives BFK
The Deer Hunter, 49.5x42x7",
Argon with mercury and helium in
glass tubing, aluminum, paint
with mercury and neon in
glass tubing, photostat, masonite
II, 94x102x10", 1988
Aluminum, copper, brass, glass tubing
and argon gases, neon crackle tube, animator
for Simmering in the Maggot Broth of Memory
inkjet print, 23x14.5", 2003
for Why Habits are Hard to Break, 2003
inkjet print, 23x14.5"
Aphasia Collage #3, 60x40x2"
ink,B&W photographs, refraction grating
Cubist Picnic with Salt & Pepper,
dinnerware pattern "Tuscany"
inspired by church floors in Sienna, Italy
format brochure for Angela Cummings to
enhance the relationships of her tabletop products
design reflects her kean awareness of exactly
what it takes to bring a product to the marketplace
8 x 10" Oil on Board
Ladder , 7 ft, 2001
Book Design, cover
Book Design, inside
Celebration of Imagination (detail),
Brochure design for Paramount Pictures
Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau
Center for Performing Arts, 1995
on Picture to view enlargement
of Page] [Archives]