Thursday, 3 August 2017

Franco Grignani: Art as Design 1950-1990

So off to the Estorick Collection in Islington we go, on the bikes, to see Franco Grignani: Art as Design 1950-1990. Rain does not dampen our spirits; we are, after all, going to see some art as opposed to merely cycling to work (as we both do). When cycling to Work in the rain your already damp spirits become drenched and take some drying out.

Grignani is best-known for designing the Woolmark logo. At this point I stop to wonder if anyone still buys wool. The mere site of the logo is nostalgic, recalling, for me, visits with my mum to the little shop in our village which sold wool. Strange to think that all these years later I would be visiting an exhibition by it's creator. 

The line between art and design was blurred long ago. One may question the existence of any line at all when, for instance, considering the book covers created by John Heartfield, as I was this morning. But the snobbish world of Fine Art has little regard for the art in 'design', even when the artist is Heartfield, presumably. Or Andy Warhol? Superstar status does, however, guarantee an interest in an artist's commercial industrial work if not, ultimately, the respect given to their Fine Art.

Grignani designed some superb covers for Penguin science-fiction paperbacks... my eyes, they're as good as a lot of stuff that passes for 'Fine Art'.

Despite starting out as a Futurist, the results of which have since been lost, Grignani proved himself a canny commercial designer who obviously kept something of the Constructivist aesthetic close to his heart and utilised early lessons in geometric dynamism when it was ripe for use in the 60s...

Wideangular, 1965

...this one's called Imposition of Geometric Space in a Reticular Field (1962) or, as it is now known, Imposition of the Photographer in a Piece by Franco Grignani...

A great little show, then. The only setback was discovering that two pastries and two cappuccinos in the cafe cost us £13. That dampened my spirits a little...

No comments:

Post a Comment