art

What is Art?

Art and design. The age old dichotomy. What is what? Here’s a 1920s definition from the leading journal of printing and typography of its time. Let’s let it speak for itself. It does so eloquently.

Andy Warhol's Attraction to Herbert Bayer's Lips

When Alexey Brodovitch was art directing Harper’s Bazaar, he ran a striking cover by Herbert Bayer for its 1940 “College Fashions” issue. A three-quarter view photo of a woman’s face is duplicated in two rows of four: a clear newsstand eye-catcher. Brodovitch went on to commission an up-and-coming illustrator named Andy Warhol for several...

Wunderkammer of Color: January 2013 Edition

What’s the very latest in the bright kaleidoscopic world of color? Let’s reach into the grab bag and find out. Many of you know I’m a sucker for oddball coloring books. So I just about leapt out of my skin at this 1971 J.C. Penney advertisement, pushing the color-block look: Another of my (numerous) color...

Los Angeles Views "Graphic Design: Now in Production"

At a Hammer Museum panel last month, Willem Henri Lucas introduced himself, Gail Swanlund, and Brian Roettinger as three L.A.-based designers who were about to discuss a current exhibition of contemporary graphic design in which none of them were included. Asking the audience to keep that perspective in mind, Roettinger, SCI-Arc’s former design director,...

Eliza Frye: How to Succeed in Comics, Online and Off

When Eliza Frye used Kickstarter to fund her first hardcover collection of graphic stories, she raised more than double her goal amount. In this, the conclusion of our two-part talk, she discusses a variety of topics, including online comics, comics conventions, and other projects. You’ll find part one here. And you’ll find Eliza this...

The Comics of Eliza Frye: A Gateway to the Sequential Arts

A lady is murdered. She was a Parisian prostitute. We meet some people who knew her. A bloody butcher. A flower merchant. A client. A painter for whom she modeled. A few others. We attend her burial. The murderer is revealed, the story ends. With a minimum of dialogue, the dark, tense eroticism of...

A Designer’s Midcentury-Mod Music-Graphics Mashups

Graham Moore creates fine-art pieces that put you in a dancing mood, just by looking into them. In fact, many of them began as vintage LP record album covers, several decades pre-mp3. Then, under his knife, texts lose their legibility, images lose their identity, and those often dull cardboard sleeves are reconfigured into visual...

Wunderkammer of Color: May 2012 Edition

Spring suffuses the natural world with color—but those with a keen eye know that color infiltrates city and town too, not to mention plenty of other nooks and crannies. Here are the hot color finds of the moment. All images: Francois Guillot/Getty, via Architizer Here is Excentrique(s), an art installation by Martin Buren that’s...

Pop Art, Politics, and Critiques of Contemporary Culture

  Popular culture, capitalist critique, and female empowerment are among the topics of this, the last of a three-part feature on “Pop and Politics,” one of the programs at the 100th annual College Art Association conference in Los Angeles. Part one, my interview with Anthony E. Grudin about Andy Warhol and comic books, is...

The Pleasures, Politics, and Proto-Feminisms of Pop Art

In 1963, Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique drew attention to the stifling state of American womanhood, and Roy Lichtenstein painted what might be considered a visual analogue: “Drowning Girl”, who’d rather be engulfed by tidal waves than call Brad for help. It was also the year Andy Warhol began his grungy, frightening Race Riot...