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CROUWEL_Keerpunten 1
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Wim Crouwel. Keerpunten in de nederlandse schilderkunst, 1920-1960. Eindhoven: Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, 1960

“Both the concrete artists and the graphic designers from Switzerland based their work on mathematics and systems. This explains the title of a book by Karl Gerstner from 1957, Kalte Kunst (Cold Art), in which the author linked this art to prewar modernism. They advocated anonymous design, simplicity, order, and clarity, while rejecting the personal and emotional-artistic approach in favor of the advancement of pure information. Grids and plan-based design (Programmentwerfen) constituted the alpha and omega of their approach. Crouwel has always defended and advocated similar views: geometry, minimalism, universality, neutrality, and visual communication. Print was a matter of formal and procedural organization -of method, no less and no more. And like the Swiss he looked ahead to the computer era and made a distinction between objective and subjective design (...) In theory it was about the designer who puts himself at the service of the text and remained invisible himself, but in practice Crouwel created a very poetic mode of “cold art,” bearing his personal stamp. He combined his letter distortions and visual typography with great sensitivity for color and form. In the 1960s his work strongly reflected influences of the ”new abstraction” and minimal art.”

Frederike Huygen. “The debate in context.” In The debate: the legendary contest of two giants of graphic design: Wim Crouwel, Jan van Toorn. New York: The Monacelli Press, 2015 (p. 52)


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