2wice, the visual and performing arts journal, has always provided an alternative performance space for dance, one that had the advantage of being a permanent record of this most ephemeral art form. Now 2wice has published its first iPad app, “Merce Cunningham Event,” a tribute to the legendary choreographer (1919-2009) that combines live-action video, interviews and historic dance photography originally developed in collaboration with Cunningham. The app is available for free downloads through iTunes, building upon Cunningham’s lifelong interest in using technology to present dance in new ways.
Abbott Miller’s Ink Collection of wallcoverings for KnollTextiles has been honored with a Best of NeoCon® award, presented at this year’s NeoCon® at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. The collection won a silver in the wall treatments category of the competition. NeoCon® is North America’s largest design exposition and conference for commercial interiors.
The Ink Collection uses liquid movement as a point of departure for three highly graphic wall covering patterns, Drip, Drop and Run. The series was inspired by Miller’s experimentation with a single drop of ink that yielded drops, branch-like forms, and loosely formed letters. Ink is designed for commercial and institutional applications, like hotels and schools, but may also be used in crossover applications like private residences.
The Ink Collection is one of 72 contract furnishing products to be honored in The Best of NeoCon®, selected from a field of 325 entries submitted in 40 categories of the competition. The awards are sponsored by Contract magazine, Merchandise Mart Properties, the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), the International Facility Management Association (IFMA) and McMorrowReport.com. The Best of NeoCon® jury is composed of 45 corporate, government and institutional facilities management executives, interior designers and architects.
Introduced earlier this year, Ink is Miller’s second collection for KnollTextiles, following the highly successful Grammar wallcovering series he designed in 2006.
Abbott Miller’s “Merge” pattern wallcovering for Knoll Textiles is one of the featured designs in Knoll Textiles, 1945-2010, the first major exhibition devoted to Knoll’s fabrics division. The show opens at the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture (BGC) next Wednesday, May 18, in time for New York Design Week, and remains on view through July 31.
Established as the company’s third division, following its furniture group and Planning Unit (which focused on corporate interiors), Knoll Textiles was directed by Florence Knoll with a vision for new materials and methods of production, many of them experimental. The exhibition gathers 175 examples of textiles, vintage furniture, photographs and other artifacts, and represents a new consideration of an under-recognized area of modern design.
Designer collaborations are an important part of Knoll’s history. Merge was created for the Grammar Collection, Miller’s first series of wallcoverings for Knoll, introduced in 2006. (Earlier this year Knoll launched the Ink Collection, Miller’s second series.) The Grammar Collection was inspired by overlapping typography, and Merge suggests a texture of tightly woven letterforms. The pattern has become popular for hospitality and institutional interiors, and is also available for use in residences.
Merge’s alphabetic tangle should be welcome at the BGC: Pentagram designed an identity of interlocking typography for the institution in 2009.
Founded in 1826, the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore is the oldest accredited art school in the United States. MICA has educated artists for almost two centuries, from the Industrial Revolution—it was first called the Maryland Institute for the Promotion of the Mechanic Arts—to the current era of digital innovation. To commemorate this incredible heritage, the school has published Making History / Making Art / MICA, a lavishly produced illustrated history designed by Pentagram’s Abbott Miller, who is a member of the school’s graphic design faculty. Written by Douglas L. Frost, MICA’s Vice President for Development Emeritus, the highly readable book follows the evolution of the school’s educational program in the context of historical, technological and cultural change, and spotlights the school’s transformative role in the Baltimore community, particularly the Bolton Hill neighborhood where it is located.
The book design integrates the institutional identity designed by Miller for MICA in 2007. Bridging the school’s history, the cover of the book features the Main Building, built in 1908, wrapped in a translucent jacket of the identity’s graphic pattern, which was inspired by industrial elements in the school’s architecture and the high-tech frit of the iconic Brown Center, built in 2004. Inside, the story of the school is traced through 450 images including historical photographs, illustrations, works of art by students and faculty, building plans, artifacts and ephemera. The design uses fonts of the identity, Giza and Griffith Gothic, the latter of which was originally designed by a local designer, Chauncey Griffith. Lexicon is the text font.
The book is available for purchase through MICA’s online store.
Cell-phone cameras, reality television and YouTube are innovations in making private images public, but photography has lent itself to “invasive looking” since the invention of the medium. Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870, now in its final weeks at SFMOMA, is a major survey that examines the historical and contemporary context of surreptitious images.
Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed the catalogue for the exhibition, which features more than 200 photographs, installations and video pieces by artists including Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Man Ray, Lee Miller, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, Helmut Newton, Guy Bourdin, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe and Philip Lorca DiCorcia, as well as images made by professional journalists, government agencies and amateurs. The exhibition was co-organized by SFMOMA and Tate Modern, where it debuted last year. It next travels to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, where it opens on May 21.
When Pentagram’s Abbott Miller was commissioned to design a new collection of wallcoverings for KnollTextiles—his second for the manufacturer—he looked to material close at hand: drawings and patterns of ink he found himself working with on paper.
“I was looking at the way ink moves across paper, and imagined it running down the walls,” says Miller.
Launching this week, the new collection, called Ink, uses liquid movement as a point of departure for a series of highly graphic patterns. The idea behind the design came from experimentation; starting with a single drop of ink, Miller created hundreds of studies that yielded drops, branch-like forms, and loosely formed letters. This was the genesis of the collection’s three patterns, aptly named Drip, Drop and Run.
The new collection follows the highly successful Grammar wallcovering series Miller created for Knoll in 2006. Grammar was inspired by typography and consisted of geometric patterns based on a series of overlapping, intermingling letters. The Ink collection is more loose, organic and handmade, but also has a digital element—the collection was created by digitally composing the studies into patterns.
Miller says, “As a medium, ink has a quality that is free and organic, but a graphic pattern is tight and controlled. The new collection plays with this dichotomy.”
Today photography is recognized as an established and influential art form, but 100 years ago the medium was struggling to be accepted as a traditional fine art. In the years between the turn of the 20th century and the beginning of World War I, photography’s “Big Three”—Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and Paul Strand—helped legitimize the medium. Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand at the Metropolitan Museum of Art documents this pioneering period in an exhibition of 115 photographs drawn from the Met’s permanent collection. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed the catalogue for the landmark exhibition, on view at the Met through April 10.
Alfred Stieglitz’s gift of 22 photographs in 1928 was the Met’s first acquisition of photography, and the photographer had a long relationship with the museum, later donating over 400 works made by various photographers of the period including Steichen and Strand. Today the Alfred Stieglitz Collection is a core of the Met’s photography holdings, and “Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand” includes many of the museum’s masterpieces.
Quick Link: Abbott Miller to Speak at Cornell AAP Symposium
Michelangelo Pistoletto is one of Italy’s most influential contemporary artists, a co-founder of the Arte Povera movement whose works link Pop, Conceptual Art, Minimalism and Post-Minimalism. Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956-1974 is a major retrospective of the artist’s work now on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller designed the exhibition catalogue, which collects over 100 of Pistoletto’s works in painting, sculpture and performance art, and texts by the artist about his work. The exhibition was organized with MAXXI—Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo in Rome, where it opens in March.
Pistoletto’s art often functions as a collaboration with the spectator, and he is perhaps best known for his Quadri specchianti (Mirror Paintings), Photo Realist images on mirror-finished steel that make the viewer part of the works. For the catalogue, Miller has covered the book in silver foil that catches the reader’s reflection. (The paper is Strike! Foil with a matte laminate.) Opening spreads of the book’s essays also make use of silver pages. Kievit is the font family used throughout the book.
A look inside the book after the jump.