Awazu Kiyoshi, Graphic Design: Summoning the Outdated
Designer and artist Awazu Kiyoshi (1929–2009) devoted his career to political advocacy and collaborations within Tokyo’s artistic community. In stark contrast to the prevailing modernist dogma, which sought universal and impersonal set of symbols, Awazu imbued his expressive, hand-drawn designs with local traditions. He argued that the designer’s mission was “to extend the rural into the city, foreground the folklore, reawaken the past, summon back the outdated.”
Awazu Kiyoshi Graphic Design: Summoning the Outdated focuses on Awazu’s books and posters from the late 1960s through the 1970s. Drawing on historic Japanese visual culture as well as his own signature imagery, he created surreal compositions to promote films, theatrical productions, literature, and art exhibitions. Part of LACMA’s ongoing initiative to collect and exhibit graphic design, this installation highlights recent gifts to the permanent collection.
This installlation was organized by the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art.
Image: Awazu Kiyoshi, Poster Nippon, 1972, Screenprint, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © Awazu Kiyoshi Estate, Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA