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Fine 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.

Moira 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.

Lili 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.

Linda 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.

Jayme 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.

Carson 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.

Koji 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.

Larry 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

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Moira Hahn    visit www.moirahahn.com

The Rising Sun, 1991

Ukiyo-Re-mix Series/Bento, 2005

20x14" transparent watercolor on Rives BFK

Cover for international edition
(Asia) of Time Magazine, 1996

Ravens, 2004
watercolor on Rives BFK
Lili Lakich    visit www.lakich.com

The Deer Hunter,
49.5x42x7", 1981
Argon with mercury and helium in
glass tubing, aluminum, paint

Mona, 54.5x39.25x7", 1981
Argon with mercury and neon in
glass tubing, photostat, masonite

Elvis II
, 94x102x10", 1988
Aluminum, copper, brass, glass tubing with neon
and argon gases, neon crackle tube, animator
Linda Nishio

Study for Simmering in the Maggot Broth of Memory
inkjet print, 23x14.5", 2003

Study for Why Habits are Hard to Break, 2003
inkjet print, 23x14.5"

Global Aphasia Collage #3, 60x40x2"
ink,B&W photographs, refraction grating
Jayme Odgers
Cubist Picnic with Salt & Pepper, 1990

Floater, 1990

Seven Levels, 1990
Carson Pritchard

The dinnerware pattern "Tuscany"
inspired by church floors in Sienna, Italy

Square format brochure for Angela Cummings to
enhance the relationships of her tabletop products

Package design reflects her kean awareness of exactly
what it takes to bring a product to the marketplace

Pink Tractor
8 x 10" Oil on Board
Koji Takei

Guitar-Clarinet, 2001
mixed media

Leftist Ladder , 7 ft, 2001

Aratani Book Design, cover

Aratani Book Design, inside

Erewhon logo design
Larry Vigon

A Celebration of Imagination (detail), 1994
Brochure design for Paramount Pictures

Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau
Poster design

UCLA Center for Performing Arts, 1995
Brochure design
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