WEB POSTER EXHIBITION - The swiss poster: art of ten masters

Text and pictures received from Bez Ocko, Guest Curator of the exhibition at the Hofstra Museum
Assistant Professor, Fine Arts, Art History and Humanities Department, Hofstra University, Hempstead NY (USA)

Catalogue cover

Emily Lowe Gallery, February 5 to March 28, 2002

The Hofstra Museum is proud to present The Swiss Poster: Art of Ten Masters featuring 41 top posters by 10 internationally acclaimed Swiss graphic designers. The exhibition will take place in Hofstraís Emily Lowe Gallery from February 5 to March 28, 2002.

The exhibition presents uniformly large works -- more than 4í x 2 1/2í in size -- that represent many of the most exciting examples of Swiss poster design over the last 45 years. These works, both individually and as a group, have a stunning visual impact. Among them are iconic examples of the Swiss International Style of the 1950s and 1960s, developed after World War II and adopted internationally as a universal language of visual communication, as well as more recent posters distinguished as innovative landmarks.

In some of The Swiss Posterís earliest works, graphic designer Armin Hofmann pioneers the Basel schoolís contribution to post-war Swiss graphic design, using stark black-and-white photography, typographic restraint and a masterís exceptional sensitivity to graphic space. Wolfgang Weingartís candy-like colors, typographic experiments and layered weaving of word and image extend the boundaries of International School formalism. Post-Weingart designers such as Ralph Schraivogel and Jean BenoÓt Lťvy play intuitively with a mix of photography and typography to produce expressive works densely charged with visual texture and opposing formal tensions. Some of the most recent posters on display include 30 Years, Melchior Imbodenís monumental typographic abstraction celebrating the 1997 anniversary of an annual art event and Cornel Windlinís 1999 Swiss Highways, a surreal photographic expanse of road and sky punctuated with a violent typographic collision.

Other designers in the exhibition are Bruno Monguzzi, Josef MŁller-Brockmann, Rosemarie Tissi and Niklaus Troxler. Their works present design approaches ranging from bold use of scale and space to the search for both universal and personal symbols, to finessed synthesis of type and image, as well as a myriad of other techniques reflecting transformations in culture and technology and above all, the keeness of artistic intelligence made visible through the mastery of craft. Many of the posters in the exhibition have won major Swiss and international competitions.

The works are drawn from the noted Swiss poster collection of designer Tom Strong. Professor Bez Ocko of Hofstra Universityís Department of Fine Arts, Art History and Graduate Humanities is curator. Professor Ocko received her M.F.A. from Yale University where she studied with Armin Hofmann, a senior design master represented by several works in the show.

The Swiss Poster is the Hofstra Museumís first graphic design exhibition in 35 years. The Hofstra Museum holds one of the largest art collections on Long Island and presents more than 12 diverse exhibitions each year. For more information on The Swiss Poster: Art of Ten Masters call the Hofstra Museum at (516) 463-5672 or (516) 463 7446 during non-office hours.

Armin Hofmann

Melchior Imboden

Jean Benoit Levy

Bruno Monguzzi

Josef Mueller-Brockmann

Ralph Schraivogel

Rosmarie Tissi

Niklaus Troxler

Wolfgang Weingart

Cornel Windlin

home   previous exhibitions  page created on March 21, 2002 / this section is part of Rene Wanner's Poster Page /