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The Design of Dissent

June 3 - July 2, 2005
Graphic art in a museum in black, white, and red.
"The Design of Dissent," June 3 - July 2, 2005

School of Visual Arts presents "The Design of Dissent," an exhibition of over 100 political posters and other graphic art from around the world, curated by SVA faculty, board member and legendary designer Milton Glaser and graphic designer and SVA faculty, Mirko Ilić. The exhibition celebrates the launch of the publication The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics, with forward by playwright Tony Kushner, published by Rockport Press.

The exhibition and book examine the varied, vital graphic response to the constraints of government and the "powers that be" from around the globe. The works contain an element of discord, an appeal to justice and an attempt to liberate some truth that lies beneath the surface of public discourse. Tony Kushner states in the book's introduction, "The political is in the arena of the miraculous, where the collective and the communal, so routinely repressed, so viciously suppressed, stages its returns, where eternal truths and immortal edifices can dissolve in an eye blink, in historical time where change rather than stasis is the only constant."

"The Design of Dissent" showcases posters, books, buttons, magazines and other ephemera from the 1960s to the present, from countries such as Israel, Palestine, the former Yugoslavia, Russia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Iran, Turkey, Bosnia, Serbia, Spain, Poland, Malaysia, Germany, South Africa, Argentina, Mexico and the United States.

The graphic works tackle a variety of issues ranging from peace, animal rights, gun control, religion, the Iraq war, equality, women's rights, gay rights and the corporate world. Milton Glaser articulates the power and need for dissent in modern life. "Part of the characteristic of dissent when it's at its best is fueled by empathy, and it's fueled by the idea that other people matter, and that if somebody is hurt or victimized, we are all hurt or victimized. It is necessary for dissent to be expressed. It has to be expressed because to protect democracy, it's the only hope we have."

To many, Milton Glaser is the embodiment of American graphic design. He co-founded the revolutionary Pushpin Studios, founded New York Magazine with Clay Felker, established Milton Glaser, Inc., and teamed with Walter Bernard to form the publication design firm WBMG. He also designed the famous "I Love NY" campaign. He is faculty and Board member at the School of Visual Arts. Glaser's artwork has been featured in exhibits worldwide, including one-man shows at both the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His work is also in several permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art; The Israel Museum; the National Archive; and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Mirko Ilić was born in Bosnia and illustrated and art directed posters, record covers and comics in Europe before moving to the U.S. in 1986. He has served as art director for the international edition of Time and The New York Times Op-Ed pages. In 1995, he established Mirko Ilić Corp., a graphic design and 3-D computer graphics and motion picture title studio. He is faculty member at the School of Visual Arts and is coauthor of the book Genius Moves: 100 Icons of Graphic Design and is currently coauthoring Handlettering in the Digital Age, both with Steven Heller.

The Design of Dissent: Socially and Politically Driven Graphics is a full-color 250-page catalogue with over 400 images presenting some of the finest examples of illustrated protest.
It includes a forward essay by Tony Kushner, playwright of groundbreaking plays such as Angels in America and Homebody/Kabul. The catalogue also contains an interview between Milton Glaser and Steven Heller, art director of The New York Times Book Review, co-chair of MFA Design Department at School of Visual Arts and author, co-author or editor of more than 90 books on graphic design and popular art. The catalogue is published by Rockport Press and will be available at bookstores nationwide for $50.

Free and open to the public