Starting in 1978, Judith Turner began photographing the twin towers of the recently completed World Trade Center. Turner, whose iconic images helped to establish the reputations of the generation of postwar modernist architects that included Richard Meier, Charles Gwathmey and Peter Eisenman, was taken with the structural simplicity and abstract beauty of architect Minoru Yamasaki’s masterwork. Turner returned to the World Trade Center repeatedly over the next decade, conducting a personal project to document the towers’ elemental forms against the sky and in the surface reflections of surrounding buildings.
To mark the tenth anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center, 23 of these images have been published for the first time in Pentagram Papers 41: WTC. The suite of images is accompanied by a preface by legendary tightrope artist Philippe Petit. (On August 7, 1974, Petit walked a high wire illegally stretched between the twin towers, a feat chronicled in his book To Reach the Clouds, the basis of the 2008 Academy Award-winning documentary Man on Wire, as well as an upcoming feature film, The Walk.)
The Pentagram Papers series has been privately published since 1974 for the firm’s friends and colleagues. For this special edition, a limited number of copies are available for $20 each, with all proceeds to be donated to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. Contact email@example.com for details.
We have all seen the homeless on street corners holding hand-scrawled signs. Their messages are desperate, heartbreaking, and at times, even humorous. These naked forms of self-expression have unintentionally become some of the most basic, raw and compelling examples of graphic communication in our society today. The 39th edition of our privately published Pentagram Papers series was designed by DJ Stout. It features signs from the personal collection of the legendary musician and writer Joe Ely and photographed by Randal Ford. These images are combined with a series of large-format portraits of the homeless by Austin-based photographer Michael O’Brien, who worked with Alan Graham, president of Austin’s Mobile Loaves & Fishes, and Brother Duane Severance, a pastor to the street people. Ely wrote the book’s foreword.
We have adapted the contents of the paper online here:
Our Austin office recently launched the publication of SIGNS with a benefit that raised $5000 to help feed the homeless. We hope that you find Ely’s essay and the photographs of O’Brien and Ford as moving as we do and we encourage you to join us in supporting one of the charities listed here or a local one of your choice.
Peter Gabriel gives a wonderful namecheck to Pentagram and Harry Pearce in his latest monthly video diary, citing the photographic faces on display in the front conference room of our London office. In his comments Gabriel attributes the authorship of the photos to a partner, but they were actually created by Jean Edouard Robert, who worked in the London office on Pentagram Papers 4: Face to Face, which was designed by John McConnell and published in 1977. Gabriel is the Chairman and Co-founder of the human rights organization Witness and saw the “Face to Face” prints during a Witness brainstorming with Harry Pearce, who has designed for Witness for the past thirteen years.
More faces after the jump.
The Pentagram Paper 39: Signs book launch event last Saturday night was a rousing success. We raised money to feed the homeless and had great fun doing it. Pentagram will be sending Mobile Loaves & Fishes $5,000 collected during the benefit.
The weather was perfect for the 300 or so guests who gathered under the big tent in the parking lot of the Austin office on the last night of the SXSW music festival. Legendary Texas musician Joe Ely and photographer Michael O’Brien signed copies of the Pentagram Paper and Alan Graham of Mobile Loaves & Fishes told the crowd moving stories about many of the homeless people photographed by O’Brien for the book. Sharon Ely’s “Holy Pozole” soup and cornbread were delicious and Darden Smith and his stellar band put on a great show. Joe Ely finished out the evening with an inspiring solo. Joe leaves on April 1st for a 68-city tour with the Flatlanders.
It was an amazing evening. Pentagram would like to thank everyone who came to the event for their donations and support. For those unable to attend, signed copies of Signs are available by mail for a suggested donation of $20 to Mobile Loaves & Fishes. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
DJ Stout and his team at Pentagram Austin invite you to join them on Saturday, March 21 for a fundraising party to help the homeless and to celebrate the release of Pentagram Papers 39: Signs. Designed by Stout, Signs is a collaboration with legendary Texas musician Joe Ely and renowned photographers Michael O’Brien and Randal Ford that focuses on the issue of homelessness. Donations received during the event will benefit Mobile Loaves & Fishes, a 501(c)(3) social outreach ministry for the homeless and indigent working poor. The event is free and open to the public—download the invitation poster here.
Stout, Ely, O’Brien and Ford hope Signs attracts attention to the current state of homelessness in our own communities and around the world. To support the book’s creation, Ely contributed a series of homeless signs he collected over the years and wrote a compelling foreword for the book that recounts his brief experience of homelessness after he jumped on a freight train out of Lubbock, Texas when he was 17 years old. Ely’s sign collection was photographed by Ford, and these images are juxtaposed with portraits of the homeless shot by O’Brien.
Complimentary copies of Signs will be distributed at the party, and Ely, O’Brien and Stout will all be on hand to sign books. Musician Darden Smith and band will be performing, and Sharon Ely will be serving up her famous Holy Pozole soup!
The event coincides with the final night of SXSW, so if you’re in town, please drop by! For those unable to attend, signed copies of Signs will be available by mail for a suggested donation of $20 to Mobile Loaves and Fishes. Please email email@example.com for details.