January 14, 2011

The Visual Language of Herbert Matter

I am very excited about the new documentary film, THE VISUAL LANGUAGE OF HERBERT MATTER. It provides a revealing look at the fascinating life of the highly influential mid-century modern design master. He was a true multi-disciplanary designer, blurring the lines between graphic design, film, and photography. Swiss born Herbert Matter is largely credited with expanding the use of photography as a design tool and bringing the semantics of fine art into the realm of applied arts.
Herbert Matter was Inspired by Russian constructivists and taught by artists such as Fernand Léger, Le Corbusier, and A.M. Cassandre in Paris in the late 20s.  He designed a series of cutting-edge Swiss travel posters that won international acclaim for the pioneering use of photo-montage combined with type. The taciturn designer found his own unique language, which resulted in the creation of such iconic works as the corporate identity for Knoll Associates and the New Haven Railroad. He photo documented the early furniture of Charles and Ray Eames and created covers for Vogue and Arts & Architecture. He documented his contemporaries Jackson PollockWillem de Kooning and Alberto Giacometti. As a filmmaker, he directed a critically acclaimed film "Works of Calder" about his good friend Alexander Calder, with music composed by John Cage. Later in life he was a professor for photography and graphic design among Paul Rand and Josef Albers at Yale University.
His friendships with modernist thinkers and artists such as Jackson Pollock, Willem deKooning, Robert Frank, Charles and Ray Eames, R. Buckminster Fuller and Alexander Calder are highlighted, as well as his over twenty years of devotion to producing an interpretative monograph of the works of Alberto Giacometti.
Take a look at this gorgeous VIDEO CLIP of the entry sequence from the film.  The credits were designed by Leftchannel, and include a wide range of Matter's work from family photos, Vogue magazine covers, personal letters, logo designs, and more.  It's visually breathtaking!

The documentary is produced by independent Swiss production company PiXiU films, and directed by award-winning filmmaker Reto Caduff. It includes interviews with design greats such as Robert FrankMassimo VignelliAlvin EisenmannSteven HellerElaine Lustig Cohen and others. The film includes never-before-seen footage, personal photography and stunning graphic design work, and explores the social and cultural impact of Matter's visual langauge that influenced a whole generation of designers and artists.

2011 Film Tour

Los Angeles, CA County Museum of Art (LACMA) Leo S. Bing Theater 1/8 2:00 PM Solothurn, Switzerland Kino Canva Club 1/21 5:00 PM Solothurn, Switzerland Landhaus 1/24 9:30 PM Richmond, VA Virginia Commonwealth University Grace Street Theater 934 West Grace Street 2/21 4:30 PM Excerpts courtesy of http://www.herbertmatter.net Images courtesy of http://www.artofthetitle.com

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One Response to “The Visual Language of Herbert Matter”

  1. Tyler (plastolux) Says:
    January 15th, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    That entry sequence is amazing, quite a visual treat!