Graphic Designer Richard Hollis at NYC Artists Space

Graphic Designer Richard Hollis at NYC Artists Space

By Kelsey Keith
Seminal British graphic designer Richard Hollis gets his first retrospective exhibition in the United States at New York City's Artists Space.

Combining myriad influences—Swiss modernist design, Concrete art, travel to Cuba, left-wing politics—British graphic designer Richard Hollis has enjoyed a prolific career since he started working in the 1950s. Now, the "seminal figure in postwar design and communication" is the subject of his first exhibition in the US, an exhibition curated by design historian Emily King with designer Stuart Bailey that comprises 150 items drawn from the designer’s personal archive.

Installation view from Richard Hollis, Artists Space, 2013.

The list of Hollis collaborators includes Norman Potter, with whom he co-founded the experimental new School of Design in the 1960s; John Berger, with whom he co-produced the BBC TV series Ways of Seeing; journals like New Society and Modern Poetry in Translation; publishers Penguin and the left-wing Pluto Press; British op-artist Bridget Riley; and Whitechapel Gallery, for which he designed a "coherent system of communication that has subsequently become a touchstone for the manner in which art institutions adopt a graphic identity." 

Richard Hollis, material for Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1978 – 1981. Courtesy Richard Hollis.

Artists Space is located at 55 Walker Street; the Richard Hollis exhibition is open September 21–November 10, 2013.

Clockwise from top: Eric Ravilious/Gillian Lowndes, 1987. Crafts Council Gallery, Poster, Four-color offset. Crafts in America, 1985. Crafts Council Gallery, Poster, Four-color offset. The Nicholsons: A Story of Four People and Their Designs, a York City Art Gallery touring exhibition, 1988. City of York Leisure Services, Poster, Four-color offset. John Heartfield, 1992. Barbican Art Gallery, Poster, Three-color offset. All works Richard Hollis, courtesy Richard Hollis.

Top: Richard Hollis, book covers for Penguin Books, 1965 – 1968. Letterpress. Courtesy Richard Hollis

Bottom: Richard Hollis, page layout and picture editing for New Society, 1966 – 1968. Letterpress. Courtesy Richard Hollis.

Left: Granta 6 short stories, 1958. Poster, Silkscreen, self-printed. Right: Duet! Duet!, 1958. Cambridge Independent Revue Society, Poster, Silkscreen, self-printed.

All works Richard Hollis, courtesy Richard Hollis.

The Hazards of Work, Patrick Kinnersly, 1973, Pluto Press, Book. Design by Richard Hollis.

Book cover for The Stagnant Society by Michael Shanks. Design by Richard Hollis. Published by Penguin Books, London, 1961. Courtesy Richard Hollis. Photo: Daniel Pérez.


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