Richard Hollis Designs for the Whitechapel


ISBN: 9780907259497
Artist(s): Richard Hollis
Author(s): Christopher Wilson
Format: paperback
Year published: 2017
Publisher: Hyphen Press
Publisher Location: London
Total Pages: 288
Illustrations: Over 800 illustrations

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Richard Hollis was the graphic designer for London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery in the years 1969 73 and 1978 85. In this second period, under the directorship of Nicholas Serota, the gallery came to the forefront of the London art scene, with pioneering exhibitions of work by Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer, Joseph Cornell, Philip Guston, Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti, among others. Hollis s posters, catalogues, and leaflets, conveyed this sense of discovery, as well as being models of practical graphic design. The pressures of time and a small budget enhanced the urgency and richness of their effects. Christopher Wilson s monograph is an exemplary examination of a body of graphic design. His book catalogues everything and then reproduces most of what was printed for the Whitechapel in these two periods of work. Also included are extended critical captions on the pictures, essays describing Hollis s work and its context, and the history of the Whitechapel Gallery. Wilson s discussion is illuminated by his extended interviews with Hollis, and with clients, assistants and other colleagues. Looking so closely at one period of the designer s work, he finds the model of Hollis s whole production. The book is interspersed with chapters on Hollis s work before, between, and after, his Whitechapel years. So the book also functions as a survey of the work of one of the finest British graphic designers of the past 50 years (Rick Poynor).* Richard Hollis Designs for the Whitechapel matches the spirit of the work it describes: active, passionate, aesthetically refined, and committed to getting things right. As in Hollis s work, design here is a verb as much as a noun.


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