Fête du Graphisme: Graphic Design Can Change Our Life For The Better

Would you like to see a really different exhibition and broaden your outlook on contemporary art? At Fête du Graphisme there’s much to see! It’s an event entirely dedicated to graphic design and held in Paris from January 7 till March 4 2015. It includes exhibitions, conferences, workshops and many other forms of interaction with public, celebrating graphic design in its versatility. It returns to Paris for the second time, being created a year ago by Michel Bouvet, a graphic designer himself.

Graphic design is a discipline essential in providing a sense of harmony in modern cities. The relation between citizenship, urban spaces and beauty is one of the crucial problems, yet often the quality of graphic design in cities leaves much to be desired. Even if transportation and commercial centers are public spaces (“non-places”, as Marc Augé calls them) it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be beautiful, we should bring them in harmony with the surroundings by means of a high quality graphic design. Thus, this event will help us discover its real value and diversity.

The first part of the exhibition held at Cité Internationales des Arts is called “Utopies et Realités” and it’s dedicated to two prominent graphic designers: Kazumasa Nagai and Henning Wagenbreth, that are both remarkable for their ability to fuse their imagined utopias into the reality. Henning Wagenbreth is a prolific German illustrator and graphic designer, who is known for his flamboyant and joyful style that makes you feel a bit dizzy.

Unlike Wagenbreth, Kazumasa Nagai uses a different technique and communicates powerful messages through simple and elegant lines, texture and color. He is an award winning Japanese designer, co-founder of Nippon Design Center and his works are to be found in many contemporary art museums from MoMA in New York to National Museum of Contemporary Art of Tokyo. Kazumasa Nagai is influenced by a traditional Japanese artistic style, blending it with contemporary social issues. His posters are poetical, but at the same time charged with serious anti-war and environmental themes: thought-provoking series “No More War” (1970), “I’m Here. Save Being and Save World” (1992), “Save Nature” (1995) and “Life” in 2000s that are all on display at the exhibition of Fête du Graphisme.

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The environmental issues in Nagai’s works echo with the subject of a temporary open-air exhibition Célébrer la Terre that is to be found at Champs-Elysées, on billboards at bus shelters and at Hotel de Ville through March 4. These posters were created by 39 graphic designers from all over the world and tackle a variety of social issues that all have a common subject: fragility of our planet and a serious concern about its future. The exhibition creates space for reflection for a large audience outside museum walls and proposes an alternative vision of Earth’s problems through graphic design. It is in its turn dedicated to the Conférence Paris Climat (COP21) that will take place in Paris in December 2015.

The second part of the exhibition “We Love Books! A World Tour in Paris” is created by Graphic Design Center in Échirolles and presents more than 150 books from various countries and in different formats. The third one invites visitors in a world of Underground press with a huge number of rare alternative magazines from different countries from 1950s till nowadays, that show the evolution, creativity, liberty of expression and diversity of free press. You can wonder at the first underground magazines published in the 1950s that trace the appearance of Beat Generation, hippie culture and “Summer of Love” in San Francisco.

As we can see, the aim of Fête du Graphisme is not only to introduce graphic design to a large audience, but also to raise acute social and environmental questions, the issues of liberty of expression, that is essential for creators.

By Aleksandra Rozhkova

La Fête du Graphisme, cette manifestation consacrée au design graphique, s’installe à Paris pour la deuxième fois.  Elle propose aux visiteurs de multiples expositions, des rencontres, des soirées et bien d’autres événements encore ! A cette occasion, des opinions différentes s’expriment et posent des problématiques autant sociales, que climatiques, écologiques ou culturelles. C’est véritablement l’événement à ne pas manquer!

Pour en savoir plus: http://www.fetedugraphisme.org

Photo source: A.R. at Cité Internationales des Arts

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