West of Modernism: California Graphic Design, 1975–1995

Ahmanson Building, Level 2
September 30, 2018–April 21, 2019
West of Modernism: California Graphic Design, 1975–1995 Image

The late 20th century was a transformational period for graphic design. Questioning the increasingly rigid rules of modernism, designers pressed for greater autonomy in their work. At the same time, dizzying advances in technology upended existing design and production processes. Far from the established New York design world, California became a haven for avant-garde designers, a hub of innovation in both discourse and practice.

This exhibition is part of LACMA’s Graphic Design Initiative, an interdepartmental project spearheaded by the Decorative Arts and Design and the Prints and Drawings departments. The initiative was established in 2014 with the goals of systematically building a graphic design collection, organizing exhibitions and programs around the subject, and integrating graphic design into larger narratives of international art and design history. Drawn entirely from the acquisitions made since 2014, this installation explores how the intense ideological debates and technological changes were manifest in posters and publications. It features the work of many influential  designers including Emigre, Inc., Ed Fella, April Greiman, Rebeca Méndez, Deborah Sussman, and Lorraine Wild.

This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

All exhibitions at LACMA are underwritten by the LACMA Exhibition Fund. Major annual support is provided by Kitzia and Richard Goodman and Meredith and David Kaplan, with generous annual funding from Jerry and Kathleen Grundhofer, the Judy and Bernard Briskin Family Foundation, Louise and Brad Edgerton, Edgerton Foundation, Emily and Teddy Greenspan, Marilyn B. and Calvin B. Gross, Mary and Daniel James, David Lloyd and Kimberly Steward, David Schwartz Foundation, Inc., Andy Song, Lenore and Richard Wayne, and The Kenneth T. and Eileen L. Norris Foundation.

Image: April Greiman and John Coy with Michael Cronan, Linda Hinrichs, Michael Manwaring, Michael Vanderbyl, and Eric Martin. AIGA California Design 2, 1985, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Marc Treib Collection, © April Greiman and John Coy