Manuel Fontán del Junco
Richard Hollis et al.
Fundación Juan March, Madrid, 2012, English and Spanish
Nonfiction, Graphic Design
11.8 x 19.7 inches, paperback, 470 pages
ISBN: 9788470756009
Suggested Retail Price: $65.00

Published to accompany a recent exhibition at the Fundación Juan March, Madrid (March 30-July 1, 2012), this illustrated catalogue in both English and Spanish editions features essays by Manuel Fontán del Junco, "The Avant-Garde Applied, 1890–1950 (A User's Manual)", Richard Hollis, "The Avant-Garde and Graphic Design," Maurizio Scudiero, "A Transverse Reading of Typography and the Graphic Avant-Gardes,"  and Bruno Tonini, "Avant-Garde Typography (1900–1945): Theories and Typefaces." It also includes a comprehensive listing of artists featured in the exhibition by name, together with catalogue numbers of their works in the exhibition; nationality, which gives one an idea of the extraordinary geographical variety covered; and by date of birth, offering an intuitive visual representation of the exhibition's historical breadth; and a selective bibliography. The works on display are organized into three large sections: I. Shapes and signs; II. Signs and shapes; and III. History and sources, according to the essays by Hollis, Scudiero, and Tonini.

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Rick Poynor

This 470-page catalogue, available in a fluent English translation, accompanied an exhibition at the Fundación Juan March in Madrid, and it remains to be seen whether it will receive wide distribution. Packed with images of 700 works, mainly from the collections of Merrill C. Berman and José María Lafuente, it is one of the most exhaustive and lusciously illustrated surveys of avant-garde graphic design yet published. At its center is a masterly “transverse reading” of experimental typography by Maurizio Scudiero, and British designer and historian Richard Hollis also provides a good overview. The catalogue closes with two insightful interviews with the collectors, whose curatorial vision has helped to focus attention on the achievements of avant-garde graphic design.

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