his work is not his work

I managed to pay a visit to the Pierre Bernard show at the Stedelijk Museum before it ends (7th january) and it was definitely worth it, Bernard obviously had a big hand in the way the exhibition was arranged, it looked great (the room & the work) big hands are also a recurring theme in his work, it seems to be a personal trade mark (obsession?) of his the hand: a symbol of humanity or a gesture of revolt, perhaps it has become an overused graphic shape today, but Bernard has used it to greater effect than most throughout his design career

a colourful handwritten message by Bernard, on a pillar in the room, reminds you that the work is not solely his but the combined effort of many talented people at Grapus and A.C.G., something which he constantly stressed during his visit last November, his new book is even titled ‘my work is not my work’… this is undoubtedly due partly to his generous nature but maybe also as a result of the friction between him and the other old grapus partners…

Bernard is nothing if not comitted to the ideals and causes which he has so single-mindedly propagated for so long, alongside the poster wall containing many of his famous (and not so famous) posters, there was a large black wall carrying serious textual statements set as always in his ‘barré’ font, a shaft of light in the middle of the wall offered a limited view of the outside world, Bernard again, placed text on the window behind, so that the viewer saw a horizon on which a short statement could be read explaining the graphic designers ‘duty’ to society…

the mixed selection of visitors appeared to be looking very carefully at the work, which is unusual for graphic design, it is of course design of a high quality but I wonder wether the same attention was paid to the message when it hung outside on the street… the small number of housestyles displayed in glass cases are, in my opinion, of a much lesser quality than his posters but the binding factor when seeing it all ‘for real’ was the quality of the execution, if something looks rough it’s meant to… the message is always what counts for Pierre Bernard

m / 01-01-2007 17:40

no comments

trackBack URL

%d bloggers like this: