Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast, the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts has been one of the city’s most prestigious cultural institutions since 1956. The Graham Foundation is available to the public not only as a forum on architecture and design but also as a gallery.
The Graham Foundation presents the first solo exhibition in the U.S. by the Swiss-American graphic designer Zak Kyes, on view through September 22, 2012. The exhibition features works by Kyes as well as many collaborators, including architects, artists, writers, curators and graphic designers, presenting contemporary graphic design as a practice that both mediates and is mediated by these disciplines.
Zak Kyes is known for his critical approach to graphic design, which encompasses publishing, editing and site-specific projects both for and in collaboration with cultural institutions. The exhibition showcases Zak Kyes in collaboration with Can Altay, Charles Arsène-Henry, Shumon Basar, Richard Birkett, Andrew Blauvelt, Edward Bottoms, Wayne Daly, Jesko Fezer, Joseph Grigely, Nikolaus Hirsch, Maria Lind, Markus Miessen, Michel Müller, Radim Peško and Barbara Steiner.
The focus of the exhibition is on the conceptual, visual and economic intersections that link Kyes with his collaborators, revealing his multivalent practice. Rather than presenting a chronological overview of Kyes’ work, the exhibition highlights his relations with partners, clients and institutions, showcasing the creative potential of these collaborations to transform traditional understandings of graphic design, art and architecture.
Zak Kyes lives and works in London. In 2005, he founded the design studio Zak Group and in 2006 he became Art Director of the Architectural Association (AA), London. While at the AA, Kyes organized the exhibition Forms of Inquiry: The Architecture of Critical Graphic Design. He also cofounded Bedford Press, an imprint that seeks to develop new models for contemporary publishing. By broadening the specialized role of the designer, Kyes challenges today’s graphic design practice.
The Graham Foundation awards project-based grants and creates public programs to encourage the development and exchange of challenging ideas about architecture and its role in the arts, culture and society. Created by prominent Chicago architect Ernest R. Graham, the Foundation has awarded more than 3,900 grants to individuals and organizations.
The Graham Foundation is located in the Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place. For additional information, visit their website.
Photo credit: Artefaqs.
Emmaline Niendorf is a Content Manager with Otherwise Incorporated.