Thursday, May 26, 2016

Poster | Rhiannon Rasmussen

Poster © Rhiannon Rasmussen 2016
Above Poster by Rhiannon Rasmussen (©2016), graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa.


Frank Lloyd Wright, in Edgar Kaufmann and Ben Raeburn, eds., Frank Lloyd Wright: Writings and Buildings. New York: Meridian Books, 1960, pp. 48-49—

…I tried to make my clients see that furniture and furnishings, not built in as integral features of a building, should be designed as attributes of whatever furniture was built in and should be seen as minor parts of the building itself, even if detached or kept aside to be employed on occasion. But when the building itself was finished, the old furniture the clients already possessed went in with them to await the time when the interior might be completed. Very few of the houses were, therefore, anything but painful to me after the clients moved in and, helplessly, dragged the horrors of the old order along after them.

…about four-fifths of the contents of nearly every home could be given away with good effect to that home. But the things given away might go on to poison some other home. So why not at once destroy undesirable things…make an end of them?

See also: Roy R. Behrens, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie (2016). 

Bicycle Poster | Austin Montelius

Poster by Austin Montelius © 2016
Above Italian bicycle poster by Austin Montelius (©2016), graphic design student at the University of Northern Iowa.


Nicholas Fox Weber, The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism (New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 2011), p. 132—

The painter Balthus once described an occasion when he and Alberto Giacometti met to call on [Paul] Klee, with whom they had made an appointment, only to become so enraptured talking with each other that they failed to walk the short distance to Klee's studio and simply stood him up. Neither felt guilty about the broken date because, much as they respected his work, they considered him unexciting as a conversationalist.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Font Specimen Poster | Rachel Bartholomay

Font Specimen Poster © Rachel Bartholomay 2016
Above Font specimen poster by design student Rachel Bartholomay (©2016) at the University of Northern Iowa.


Recently while reading Nicholas Fox Weber, The Bauhaus Group: Six Masters of Modernism (New Haven CT: Yale University Press), I ran across a passage about a class exercise that the painter Paul Klee witnessed in a course at the Bauhaus taught by Johannes Itten. It required his students to draw in the dark, and of course this reminded me of the later, related experiments by Hoyt Sherman at Ohio State University, which I wrote at length about in the early 1990s. Here is the passage from Weber's interesting book (p. 115)—

At 5 pm that same day, Itten gave another course in a large lecture hall constructed like an amphitheater, where people sat on the steps rather than on seats. This time the master projected on the wall a large image of Matisse's La Danse and had the students draw its essential compositional elements in the dark. Itten's wife sat at his feet, with everyone else huddled in close. The sole exception was Klee, who sat as far away as possible, at the very top of the amphitheater, in a proper chair. Looking on from this perch, he smoked his pipe.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tokyo Infographic | Megan Parisot

Infographic © Megan Parisot 2016
Above Tokyo infographic by design student Megan Parisot (©2016) at the University of Northern Iowa.


Roger Angell, Let Me Finish. Orlando FL: Harcourt, 2006, pp. 231-232—

One day in the late sixties, [American fiction writer ] Donald [Barthelme] needed to get somewhere upstate and dropped into his neighborhood Hertz office for a rental. All went well until it was revealed that the applicant did not possess a credit card. "We'll need some identification, then," the Hertz man said unhappily. "What is your occupation, Mr. Barthumb?"

Don—already sensing the onrushing scene from "Mondo Donaldo"— confessed that he was a writer. He wrote books.

"What are some of your books?" said the Hertz guy, slightly retrieving the application form that lay between them.

"Well, Snow White."

"You wrote Snow White? Any others?"

"I have a new one just coming out, Unspeakable Practices, Unnatural Acts. It's a collection."

"Well, there's a lot of that going on these days, isn't there?" said Hertz. "That'll be seven hundred dollars down, cash."

Sunday, May 22, 2016

CD-ROM Package Design | Madi Luke

CD-ROM Package © Madi Luke 2016
Above Design for a CD-ROM portfolio by graphic design student Madison (Madi) Luke (©2016), at the University of Northern Iowa.


As I read this recently, I was reminded of The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski. The following is from Richard Neutra, Life and Shape. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1962, p. 362—

Frank Lloyd Wright told me, I think significantly, not once but on two occasions, the story of a monkey in Malaya. It was caught by a planter, roped around the waist, and tied to a post on his screened porch. During the night the monkey bit off the rope near the post, bit through the screen mesh, and escaped into the jungle to his fellows. But they were no longer fellows to a monkey with a peculiarity—with a rope around his belly. They regarded him with hostility for being different, "and tore him limb from limb." I still remember Mr. Wright's baritone laughter which ended in a bitter smile. Frank Lloyd Wright did not simply have a strange rope around his belly—why did he link this story to himself? What really characterizes the relationship to others of the outstanding man, merely taken as the extra case of a vital individual? Is it tragedy—not only necessity—that the individual, even the best, the most alive, is really not effective , not vital, in a vacuum? Always very soon, sooner or later, he must be involved with others.

See also: Roy R. Behrens, FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT and Mason City: Architectural Heart of the Prairie (2016).