Warren Lehrer

Graphic Designer / United States / EarSay Inc.

Warren Lehrer is a writer, designer, and multimedia artist known as a pioneer in the fields of visual literature and design authorship. His books, acclaimed for capturing the shape of thought and reuniting the traditions of storytelling with the printed page, include Crossing the BLVD: strangers, neighbors, aliens in a New America (with Judith Sloan); The Portrait Series: A Quartet of Men (four-book suite); GRRRHHHHH: A Study of Social Patterns (with Dennis Bernstein and Sandra Brownlee); French Fries (with Dennis Bernstein); i mean you know; and versations. His newest book (Fall 2013), A Life in Books: The Rise and Fall of Bleu Mobley, is an illuminated novel with 101 books within it.

He has received many awards for his books and multimedia projects, including the Brendan Gill Prize, the IPPY Outstanding Book of the Year Award, the Innovative Use of Archives Award, The International Book Award for Best New Fiction, three AIGA Book Awards, two Type Directors Club Awards, the International Book Design Award, a Media That Matters Award, a NY Book Show Best of the Best Award, and a Prix Arts Electronica Award. He has received fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council and Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Greenwall Foundation, and others. He is a 2016 Honoree of the Center for Book Arts (NYC) for his “pioneering work” and for “extending the field of book arts to the broader worlds of contemporary art and literature.” His work has been exhibited widely and is in many collections, including MoMA, Los Angeles County Art Museum, Walker Arts Center, The Getty Museum, Georges Pompidou Centre, and Tate Gallery.

Lehrer is also a performer, and has co-written four plays and one opera, and co-composed two audio CDs. He co-produces public radio documentaries and audio works with his wife, Judith Sloan. Lehrer’s performances and plays have been performed at many venues, including La MaMa Experimental Theatre, The Public Theatre, The Knitting Factory, Independent Art at Here, The Painted Bride, The Market Theatre (Johannesberg), and the Theatre Workshop (Edinburgh). More recently, Lehrer has been setting stories and text into animation, video, and interactive media. Animations include Globalization: Preventing the Sameness of the World, and panoramic projections for 1001 Voices: a Symphony for a new America. In addition to his collaborations with Judith Sloan, Lehrer has written several books with Dennis Bernstein and collaborated with many musicians and composers, including Frank London, BETTY, Gogol Bordello, Scott Johnson, David Krakauer, and artists Sandra Brownlee, Harvey Goldman, and Brandon Campbell.

Lehrer received his BA from Queens College, CUNY, and an MFA from Yale University. He is a full professor at the School of Art+Design at Purchase College, SUNY, and a founding faculty member of the Designer as Author graduate program at the School of Visual Arts. He is also a frequent lecturer, keynote speaker, and presenter at conferences, universities, festivals, bookstores, and art and literary centers throughout the U.S. and abroad. Together with Sloan, Lehrer founded EarSay, a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to uncovering and portraying the lives of the uncelebrated in print, on stage, on radio, in exhibitions, electronic media, and through educational programs in public schools, community centers, and prisons.

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