After rent prices on Charlotte Road hit dizzying heights at the start of the year, Kemistry Gallery were faced with a difficult decision…
bow out and settle for fond memories of what had been achieved over the last ten years, or power forward in a bid to create bigger and better things. Lucky for us they chose the latter…
Opting out of having a fixed premises (for now at least),’100 Years of Graphic Design’ is the first in a series of pop-up exhibitions and events the gallery have embarked on.
Taking a look back at the inspiring work which lined their former space, this show really marks the beginning of a new chapter for Kemistry. Choosing to curate the show using colour instead of chronology, the exhibition charts a diverse section of work made within the design world over the last century. Sweeping from black and white to bright, punchy hues, works from graphic powerhouses such as Seymour Chwast, Milton Glaser, Ken Garland and Saul Bass are interspersed with pieces from the major players of today, including Jean Jullien, Parra and Geoff McFetridge.
Highlights from the exhibition include ‘Wonderground Map of London Town’, an offset litho print by MacDonald Gill from 1914 which depicts the city in charming detail, and was created to keep those using the underground entertained while waiting for the often unreliable tube. Further down the wall, a tasty looking print of ‘A Pizza’, a collage created by pioneering British designer Alan Fletcher in 1986, sees ephemera carefully placed into a satisfying circular form. Screen printed gems are provided by the likes of Experimental Jetset, Rob Lowe and Damien Poulain among others.
MacDonald Gill: Wonderground Map of London
Jean Jullien: Phone
Kemistry Gallery: 100 Years of Graphic Design
Kemistry Gallery’s Kickstarter t-shirts printed by ICON
Following the exhibition at Protein, Kemistry will continue the hunt for a permanent space. This in turn see will see them undergo a mighty metamorphosis as they set the wheels motion to become the ‘National Centre for Graphic Design’. If this show’s anything to go by, it’ll be nothing short of brilliant. ICON Printing supported Kemistry Gallery’s Kickstarter #SaveKemistryGallery campaign which enabled the exhibition to be funded, by supplying screen printed t-shirts which they used to reward their Kickstarter backers.
Catch it quick as ‘100 Years of Graphic Design’ only runs until Sunday 15th March. Find more information and see the full list of contributors here.