From The Netherlands: Words and Images (c. 1990 – 2004)
Curated by Curated by Toon Lauwen with support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy, New Zealand
14 April 2005 - 14 May 2005
From The Netherlands: Words and Images (c. 1990 – 2004), 2005.
Holland is a small country. Yet, we do possess a mind of our own which finds expression, amongst others, in a very lively design-culture. The Dutch foster a kind-hearted climate for strong image makers. Irony, stubborness and outgoïngness are valued characteristics in our creative professionals. This attitude leads to daring cultural posters and unusual solutions used in the making of our best books. Most graphic designers represented in this exhibition, show a determined interest in clear, decisive images combined with a potent use of lettering.
The exhibition From the Netherlands. Words & Images (c. 1990-2004) presents a selection of the diversity and the colour produced by Dutch designers and design studios over the last four years. From the collection of posters, books, catalogues, brochures, annual reports and letter fonts, it becomes evident that graphic design is well integrated in all forms of communication of Dutch companies, cultural institutions and government agencies. This multiform exuberance is partly due to good design schools and good professional possibilities for designers. The collected work, on the other hand, also bears witness to the daring and the entre-preneurial spirit of Dutch clients.
Graphic design is – traditionally – a discipline open to influences from the fine arts, architecture and photography. Dutch professionals show an age-old affinity with the pictorial poster, but are equally interested in the auxiliary qualities of typography and type. At the moment, generic influences are difficult to pinpoint. Since the early 1990s, the graphic designer (like everyone else) has become continuously inundated with the excesses of global visual culture: advertising, television and new media, the internet, games and other computer-generated images. The availability of new fonts, or electronically generated lettertypes, has increased dramatically in the last ten years, and takes on a wide variety of forms, from conceptual to more traditional letter styles. Both traits are well visible in the exhibition. It is a pleasure to be able to present some of the finest examples of well designed Words & Images from the Netherlands at Auckland University of Technology and Massey University Wellington, New Zealand.
Lauwen Projects has been curating travelling design exhibitions for over six years which have been presented in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Institut Néerlandais in Paris, Musée des Beaux Arts/Villa Steinbeck in Mulhouse, Musée des Beaux Arts in Valence- France, ADGFAD/Laus 01 in Barcelona Spain, Erasmushuis, Djakarta Indonesia, Design Center Stuttgart, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, the American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA) New York, University of North Texas Gallery, Denton (TX), Schick Art Gallery, Saratoga Springs (NY) Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland (ORE), Detroit Chapter AIGA (IL), Western Michigan University (MI), University of Canberra ACT, Australia, The Old Truman Brewery London, Glaspaleis Heerlen, Design Inbaba, South Africa.