Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Philippe Apeloig, “understanding the art and design of letters”

Photographs from the Graphic Design: Now in Production show at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (note viewer and environmental interior reflections in the frame glass).
Top: Philippe Apeloig, designer. FIAF: French Institute/Alliance Française de New York, Crossing the Line – FIAF Fall Festival, Affiche, 100 × 150 cm, 2010. Directly above: Philippe Apeloig, [Motion] Typographie (on screen): La Lorraine, 2005.

Currently on display is a major exhibition at the Walker called Graphic Design: Now in Production — the show runs until 22 January 2012. In the exhibition catalog Ellen Lupton writes, as one of the featured essayists, a piece entitled, “The Making of Typographic Man.” Lupton’s essay correlates to the Typography area in the show, which features, among several others, the work of French graphic designer, Philippe Apeloig. As Ms. Lupton states:

Custom lettering is a powerful current in contemporary design. Designers today combine physical and digital processes to create letterforms that grow, copulate, and fall apart. Vocabularies range from the lush organicism of Marian Bantjes and Antoine et Manual to the geometric constructions of Philippe Apeloig, whose bitmapped forms suggest an animated process of assembly and dissolution. [1]
However, Apeloig’s compelling typography also seems to move beyond the geometric constructions, using the motion of countless pixilated points of light that coalesce and disperse to suggest the impact of human culture in flux and crossing boundaries. Interestingly, Lupton ends her essay with these words, which contextualizes the work of Apeloig:
Unfurling today across the networked horizon, text is now mutable (changing), interactive, and iterative, no longer melded to a solid medium… an essential “natural resource” (an essential medium of text exchange in our times). [2]
Indeed Apeloig’s typographic design is an image of a flourishing estuary—the ebb and flow of multifaceted cultural diversities.
  1. Lupton, Ellen. “2011 The Making of Typograpic Man.” Graphic Design: Now in Production. Ed. Andrew Blauvelt and Ellen Lupton. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 2011. 113. Print.
  2. Ibid. 114.

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