I can’t take credit for “discovering” Noma Bar’s work, but I will take credit for instigating his two books that exposed him to a wider audience. By the time he pitched his first book, Guess Who?, Bar had already worked for high-profile UK clients like The Guardian and Penguin, but since then his work has evolved from succinct portraits to masterful encapsulations of huge ideas within bold colors and perfectly balanced economies of lines, as seen in Negative Space. This development has attracted the attention of art directors and marketing departments, ranging from publications like The Economist, Wired, Esquire, and Wallpaper* to companies like IBM and institutions like the V&A.
Another client for whom Bar has done a lot of work is The New York Times, and this week Bar’s first US solo show opens at the Times’s GallerySeven. Following on the heels of “Bitter Sweet,” which showed at KK Outlet in London this past April, Bar brings his prints and sculptures to New York where they will be on display for the next few months.
I’m always impressed seeing Bar’s imagery on the page, but seeing it enlarged is really something. I understand the sculptures are quite impressive, too, though I have not yet seen them firsthand. Alas, I will miss this week’s opening because I will be in Frankfurt for the Book Fair. But if you are in New York, check out the show.
And if you don’t want to take my word for it, I defer to my fellow Imprint contributor Steven Heller, who wrote the introduction for Bar’s first book: “Achieving the perfect match of symbol and character, producing the quintessential evocation of an individual through a few stark linear marks is never effortless, even if Bar makes it seem that way.”