For anyone in Los Angeles or planning to visit over the next couple months, it's well worth a trip to check out this political graphics exhibit:
THE GRAPHIC IMPERATIVE: International Posters for Peace, Social Justice & the Environment, 1965 to 2005
at the Luckman Gallery at Cal State L.A., October 27 – December 15, 2007
I got to see the show at Mass Art in Boston, and there is a lot of really great work that would otherwise be difficult to see, including posters by Tom Ungerer, Klaus Staeck, Ester Hernandez, the Guerilla Girls, Gran Fury, Felix Beltran and Lex Drewinski. I was excited to see all of the material together and think about half of the work is extremely strong. I was disappointed by the lack of context for the work, as much it comes from very specific political contexts but little of that is explained in the exhibition. By stripping the work from it's context, the exhibition sometimes feels simply like a shopping mall for designers to pick up the next hip, "authentic" style. It seems like some of that might be corrected with the discussion series they've planned to go along with the exhibit.
Here's what the organizers have to say about the show: The Graphic Imperative is a select retrospective of forty years of international sociopolitical posters. Themes include dissent, liberation, racism, sexism, human rights, civil rights, environmental and health concerns, AIDS, war, literacy and tolerance, collectively providing a window to an age of great change. Focusing on the issues of our turbulent times, these 111 posters illustrate the social, political and aesthetic concerns of many cultures in an immediate and bold way.
Here's a list of related events:
Conversations: Graphics for Social and Political Change
A series of discussions moderated by Jon Beaupre
(Asst. Prof. Communication Studies at CSULA, and frequent guest host on NPR affiliate, KPCC Pasadena)
Organized by GAUGE, the student Graphic Design Group at Cal State L.A.
Thursday, November 8, 7:00pm
John Clark, Garland Kirkpatrick, and Nancy Le May
Thursday, November 15, 7:00pm
Tomás Benitez, Eric Lindroth, and Carol Wells
Thursday, November 29, 7:00pm
Rebecca Mendez and Mary Sutton
Saturday, December 8, 5-7:00pm
Luckman Fine Arts Complex
California State University, Los Angeles
5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90032-8116 Tel. (323) 343-6604
Gallery Hours: Monday through Thursday and Saturday, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.