Weekend Heller – March 1, 2013

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The Second SVA/BBC Design Documentary Film Festival, March 17, 2013School of Visual ArtsNew York, NY11:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15.00 from Eventbrite. Curated by Adam Harrison Levy and Steven Heller, sponsored by the School of Visual Arts MFA Design Departments.


The Festival features:

  1. 11:00—The Bra (1993): In 1913, an American debutante, Caresse Crosby, needed a prop for her bust that would be both effective and unobtrusive. She improvised with folded handkerchiefs. The result was the bra.

  2. 11:25—Deodorant (1990): How hygiene products as well as attitudes towards body odor have changed and transformed over the years

  3. 11:50—The Harley Davidson (1990): The origins, as well as the powerful mythology, that surrounds this design classic.

  4. 12:25—The London Underground Map (1987): Created in 1931 by Henry Beck, a London Underground employee, this map has become on icon for both London and British design in general (think of all those mugs and dishtowels).

  5. 2:00—Chelsea Hotel (1981): A compelling film about the artists who lived and loved this infamous hotel, including footage of Andy Warhol and William Burroughs, Quentin Crisp and Virgil Thompson, among others.

  6. 3:00 – 3:30—Q&A with Alan Yentob, BBC Director and filmmaker.

  7. 4:00—Cracked Actor starring David Bowie (1975): Talk about designing a brand. In this incredible film, made in 1974 and rarely screened in the US, we see David Bowie at his most vulnerable (he was addicted to coke at the time): a self-designed artist — he talks about mime, costumes, and the invention of characters such as Ziggy Stardust — on the edge of falling apart.

  8. 5:00-5:45—Q&A with Alan Yentob

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Harvey Kurtzman, The MAD Years and Beyond

The Society of Illustrators Presents: The Art of Harvey Kurtzman A retrospective at the Museum of American Illustration. Opening night (open to the public): Friday, March 8th, 2013, 7:00-11:00 p.m. at the Society of Illustrators, 128 East 63rd Street, NYC. 212-838-2560.


Spanning the career of the man who created MAD, Humbug, Help, Two-Fisted Tales and more, and who had a broad and profound influence on American popular culture, this eight-week exhibit showcases over 120 original works.


Co-curators Monte Beauchamp (founder, editor, and designer of the comic art/illustration anthologies Blab! and Blab World), and publisher/cartoonist Denis Kitchen (co-author of The Art of Harvey Kurtzman and representative of the estate) have assembled the most comprehensive assemblage of Kurtzman art to date, culled from select private and family collections. Highlights include: Kurtzman life drawings from 1941; rarely-seen late ’40s strips done for the New York Herald-Tribune as well as for Marvel’s Stan Lee; key covers, strips and full stories Kurtzman created for MAD, Frontline Combat, Two-Fisted Tales, Humbug and Help!, sometimes in collaboration with fellow comics geniuses Will Elder and Jack Davis. In addition, “Kurtzmania,” numerous rare artifacts and ancillary publications seldom seen by the public, will be on display.

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Sutnar Honored at his Birthplace

During October 2012 the City of Pilsen mounted a plaque to commemorate its premier graphic designer, Ladislav Sutnar. It was created by Jakub Orava, a student of sculpture at the Institute of Art and Design, at the University of Western Bohemia, Pilsen. The inscription reads: “Here was born world renowned artist and designer Ladislav Sutnar, 1897 Pilsen, 1976 New York”.


The plaque respects the principles of Ladislav Sutnar’s work—purity, clarity and informativeness. There is no decoration without function—just symbols bearing the meaning and composition (triangles standing on their vertex) evoking the feeling of dynamic movement.The industrial stair which can be found on high chimeneys represent a strong symbol of a way upwards and onwards, rising steadily and continuously up from the depth. It is not as fast as a rocket start or as comfortable as using a lift—all the more it resembles our journey through life or the journey of mankind through history. Strenuous and yet steady and continuous journeyto the top which can never be reached but is important to aim for. The stairs represent seconds, hours, months, years, or aims that have been reached. Understanding Sutnar and his principles, Jakub Orava, the author of the plaque, paraphrased the “We Live 1931” magazine cover from September 1931 created by Ladislav Sutnar. He replaced the face of a young man from the magazine with a portrait of Ladislav Sutnar´s aged face, immortalizing him through his own artwork which was long ago judged by the most objective judge of all—the Time.

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The Shelf: A Design Magazine Rooted in Books

If you’ve not heard about SÉBASTIEN HAYEZ ‘s The Shelf Journal or Designers Books website before, you’re not alone. I only learned about it this week because the second issue contains an article on Elaine Lustig Cohen by Greg D’Onofrio and Patricia Belen. But there is also more:


Table of Contents

Created by Sébastien Hayez, with the contributions of Mark Blamire (Blanka), Joe Kral, Jonathan Turner (Insect54), Alastaire Jones, Henning Krause (Berlintype
s) & Jaap Proost, the site shares rare, old, out of print and limited edition of books and magazines with great graphic design: from Design, Architecture, Art, Science, Novel, Comics, etc.

Rare books they say “is a vision of a lost period. Cultural interest is high and price can be very low. Books never died.”

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For more Steven Heller, check out Citizen Designer: Perspectives on Design Responsibility, one of the many Heller titles available at MyDesignShop.com.