EXHIBITION | ALEX WOLLNER BRAZIL: VISUAL DESIGN
On display from June 8th to August 25th, 2019.
The Museu da Casa Brasileira, an institution of the Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy of the Government of the State of São Paulo, managed by Civil Society through The Casa Museu de Artes e Artefactos Brasileiros, promoted the exhibition “Alex Wollner Brasil: Visual Design”, with original pieces and interviews by one of the most important Brazilian graphic designers.
The MCB presented for the first time in Brazil the content of the exhibition conceived by Alexandre Wollner at the Angewandte Kunst Museum, in Frankfurt (Germany), between 2013 and 2014, curated by Klaus Klemp and co-curated by Julia Kartesalo. In addition to original identity manuals, posters, prints, graphic projects for books, videos and a summary of his professional career, brands that portray a panorama of decades of work with corporate identities were on display in the garden.
Opening of the Show
Wollner was born in São Paulo, in 1928, and, after studying at the Institute of Contemporary Art (IAC, São Paulo) and at HfG-Ulm (Hochschule für Gestaltung, in Ulm, Germany), he founded Forminform, the first Brazilian design agency industrial and graphic, having been its partners Geraldo de Barros, Ruben Martins and Walter Macedo. With colleague and professor Karl Heins Bergmiller, Alexandre Wollner developed a concept for design education in Brazil, following Ulm’s model, and thus helped to found the Superior School of Industrial Design (ESDI), in Rio de Janeiro, in 1963, where he taught for years.
The methodology acquired at HfG-Ulm was incorporated by Wollner throughout his career. The designer has developed many corporate identities, spanning the company’s complete visual communication, from office interior design, to typographic fonts and signage systems, to advertising media, packaging and even employee apparel. For him, corporate design meant more than the right logo: the result of this process was an important review of the company’s internal culture; a complex system so as not to become distorted or obsolete. His approach had a lasting impact on the image of these companies, which ended up becoming international references in visual design.
Launch of the book “Alex Wollner Brasil: Visual Design”
Released to mark the farewell of the exhibition
Credits: Alisson Ricardo (book) and Júnior Franzin (release)
Some of the complete original manuals that the designer prepared for each identity project were exhibited at the MCB, indicating the correct use of the brand and its applications. Through videos, such as the documentary “Alexandre Wollner and the formation of modern design in Brazil”, a project by André Stolarski (1970 – 2013), it was possible to learn more about Wollner’s work process and his critical position in relation to Brazilian design.
The design of posters, of which the MCB brought a collection of around 50 pieces, including originals and reprints, figured since the beginning of its activities, while still a student. However, it was in 1951, when assisting in the assembly of the exhibition by the Swiss Max Bill, in São Paulo, that Wollner found the path between design and art. He had already explored concrete painting during his studies at the Contemporary Art Institute of the São Paulo Museum of Art and, in 1952, he witnessed the birth of Grupo Ruptura, of which he would later join. The following year, he was honored with the title of best artist of the new generation at the Bienal de São Paulo. Alexandre Wollner, based on his experience with Concrete Art, his extensive knowledge of ‘New Typography’ and his consistent functional approach to communication, produced an extensive set of posters over six decades, such as the emblematic of the IV International Bienal de São Paulo and the 1954 International Film Festival – a commemorative re-edition of the latter, with limited edition, is being distributed at the box office and on the Museu da Casa Brasileira website in exchange for a donation to the museum (www.mcb.org.br).
Print and Online
Guia Divirta-se | Folha de S. Paulo | O Estado de S. Paulo | Revista 29 horas | Revista Quatro Cinco Um | Folha de S. Paulo (Online) | NoSet (Online)
The exhibition also provided an overview of the designer’s career, addressing the period of apprenticeship at HfG-Ulm: his little-known work in photography, and a set of 25 prints produced in the early 2010s, when Wollner resumed his activities as an artist plastic, after several decades working exclusively as a graphic designer.
The Museu da Casa Brasileira, an institution of the Secretariat of Culture and Creative Economy of the State of São Paulo that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020, is dedicated to the preservation and dissemination of the material culture of the Brazilian house, being the only museum in the country specializing in architecture and design. The MCB’s program includes temporary and long-term exhibitions, with an agenda that also includes educational service activities, debates, lectures and publications contextualizing the museum’s vocation for the formation of critical thinking on themes such as architecture, urbanism, housing, economy creative, urban mobility and sustainability. Among its numerous initiatives, the MCB Design Award, the main award in the segment in the country, held since 1986, stand out; and the Casas do Brasil project, to rescue and preserve the memory of the rich diversity of living in the country.
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