Rene Wanner's Poster Page


Title page, 3k The world of graphic design at the Galerie von Oertzen
Ed. K. Kemp, O. Leu, H.-C. von Oertzen

Verlag Hermann Schmidt, Luisenstr. 6, Mainz (D)(1997)
tel +49-6131-479103, fax +49-6131-479104
160 pages, 115 color reproductions, 19.5 x 12 cm; ISBN 3-87439-433-6; DM 29.80 (about 17 US$)
in german and english

It sounded quite puzzling when I first heard about an exhibition on graphic design in a gallery in a cloister in Frankfurt. Strange bedfellows.

So I went there, and the Karmeliterkloster turned out to be a museum nowadays which frequently has exhibitions on design, and the gallery, I was told, is somewhere else in Frankfurt, and just had a guest exhibition in the museum. When I finally got this little book, an exciting story unfolded:

Hans-Christoph von Oertzen, the owner of the gallery, is a publisher and printer, and has shown 40 exhibitions there since 1984, on contemporary graphic design, for his own enjoyment and the benefit of his employees, customers, the public and the designers themselves. They contribute a special work for the exhibition which is then printed on the spot, and there are meetings arranged between the invited guest and the design students of the Frankfurt area.

The famous graphic designer Olaf Leu provided guidance in the selection of the exhibitors, and has picked an impressing cross section from the cream of international graphic design, many of them are AGI members. A retrospective on the material from these exhibitions was then shown in Frankfurt on the occasion of von Oertzen's 80th birthday last year, and it is presently on view at the Deutsches Plakat Museum in Essen, till May 3, 1998. The book serves as a catalogue to these events. For space and other reasons, only 16 of the 40 designers could be included, among them Ken Cato and Garry Emery from Australia, Susumu Endo and Takenobu Igarashi from Japan, Josse Goffin, Fritz Gottschalk, Olaf Leu, Oswaldo Miranda, the Total Design group from the Netherlands, Jean Widmer from Paris, Zdenek Ziegler from Prague, and Yves Zimmermann from Barcelona.

Poster, 4k
Gross macht gross
1985, Olaf Leu
Poster, 3k
Poster for an exhibition of tools
1972, Jean Widmer
Poster, 3k
Earth Crisis
1994, Susumu Endo
Keeping the students in mind, the book is reasonably priced, well designed - it won the distinction of most beautiful book of the year 1997 - and typeset - by von Oertzen, of course -, and has useful biographies. About half of the illustrations are on posters, the rest is on package design, book covers and free graphics.

A little jewel !

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