Adrian Frutiger, one of the best-known typeface designers of the 20th century, has died. His work includes such ubiquitous font families as Univers, Avenir, and of course, Frutiger. We’re talking a guy whose career started in the era of metal press and he continued to be extremely influential throughout the advent and eventual dominance of digital typography. He’s one of the fathers of Swiss design, one of his fonts (ASTRA-Frutiger) is used on all Swiss highway signs. I could go on and on.
His work is so well-known that you’ve probably been looking at it your whole life without knowing it.
Ondine (1954) President (1954) Meridien (1955) Egyptienne (1956) Univers (1957) Apollo (1962) Serifa (1967) OCR-B (1968) Iridium (1975) Frutiger (1976) Glypha (1977) Icone (1980) Breughel (1982) Versailles (1982) Linotype Centennial (1986) Avenir (1988) Westside (1989) Herculanum (1990) Vectora (1990) Linotype Didot (1991) Pompeijana (1992) Rusticana (1993) Frutiger Stones (1998) Frutiger Symbols (1998) Linotype Univers (1999) Frutiger Next (2000) Nami (2006) Frutiger Arabic (2007) Frutiger Serif (2008) Neue Frutiger (2009) Univers Next (2010)
I really can’t even begin to describe the breadth and influence of his work in any meaningful way other than to say just go read the wikipedia entry, it’s a list of achievements that is nothing short of astounding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adrian_Frutiger
Even his lesser known work is mind-blowing. This font is till incredibly on point in 2015… “The CGP typeface (first called Beaubourg) used in the Centre Georges Pompidou from 1976-1994 is by Hans-Jörg Hunziker and Adrian Frutiger” (description & image below couretesy Luc Devroye)
On an interesting side note… Frutiger did the type design for the 1972 Munich Olympics, using his typeface Univers, with graphics designed by Otl Aicher.
Aicher also designed the typeface Rotis, the official typeface for the City of Montreal.
As my more faithful readers will know already, I’m pretty seriously into Rodin. There is a fantastic touring Rodin show that is currently being exhibited at he Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. This show is really fascinating in that special consideration is taken in showing how works and themes are developed across media, interpreted in different scales, and how Rodin’s work employed a lot of assemblage and thematic repetition. You really get a better understanding of his overall ouevre in viewing this huge collection!
Anyhow, the show is on until October 18 so I very much recommend that you visit if you get a chance, it an exceptionally well-curated show that has something for the most casual fan of sculpture to the most specifically obsessed Rodin student.
Anyway I love seeing other artists’ process in action and find it really inspiring. I just finished this sketcharoo inspired by one of the sculptures I saw.
Here’s a pile of photos I took at the show, on the Grey not Grey Facebook page that you should already be following but if you’re not, well dang, there you go.
By now many of you will have heard of the convicted killers, Richard Matt & David Sweat, who recently escaped from a maximum security prison in upstate New York.
These deranged killers have eluded the authorities for weeks, and are presumed to be armed & dangerous. In investigating where the pair got ahold of the tools required to escape from one of the most secure prisons in the US, it would appear that Matt is an artist who exchanged his work for tools.
Yes, you read that right – Richard Matt exchanged portraits of celebrities for tools to escape prison.
The stone-cold killer who busted out of a Dannemora prison is an amateur artist who loves to paint — especially portraits of political and celebrity figures, a friend told CNY Central TV in Syracuse.
New York Daily News
Here’s a photo I took the other day around the corner from where I live. Yeah, you read that right. Sgraffito from 1943. It would seem that the owners of this home decided to parge their foundation wall in 1943 and the local kids scratched their names into the wet cement. Judging by the handwriting those kids would be about 79 years old by now. How amazing would it be if R.B. & B.T. grew up and got married and are still alive? I’m going to pretend that’s how things turned out because it would be awesome.
Joan Semmel in NYC
Joan Semmel has a show at Alexander Gray Associates (NYC) – sadly I will only be in town the week after, but for those of you fortunate enough to be able to go, it’s a great retrospective by an artist who really deserves a lot more recognition.
Read the full interview on Hyperallergic – Some images in the attached interview are NSFW.
Memento Mori in Nashville
This sounds like a pretty interesting show – should you be in Nashville, it’s definitely worth checking out! My mother had a reproduction of the Kollwitz print below on her study wall when I was growing up. Boy, could Kollwitz ever draw… Litho pencils, sigh.
“Memento Mori — Looking at Death in Art and Illustration at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery considers death’s role in society over the past 500 years. The oldest object in the exhibition is Vesalius’s anatomical treatise De humani corporis fabrica libri septem (1555), which shows — as co-curator Holly Tucker wrote in her book Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution — how “medical exploration took place most frequently in the domain of death.” Other pieces on display include a second-stage silk mourning dress from 1909, memorial jewelry woven from the hair of the dead, and a tombstone carved by sculptor William Edmondson. “Many of these traditions are no longer a part of Western culture,” Gallery Director Joseph S. Mella told Hyperallergic. He explained that these are set alongside the show’s contemporary works, like Enrique Chagoya’s 2003 lithograph “La Portentosa Vida de la Muerte,” which “deal more with the idea of death and issues of death in society rather than the death of individuals.”