abram games/hayward gallery – archive visit

bram Games OBERDI (1914, Whitechapel, London — 1996, London) was a British graphic designer.

Born Abraham Games in Whitechapel, London on the day World War I began in 1914, he was the son of Joseph Games, a Latvian photographer, and Sarah, a seamstress born on the border of Russia and Poland. His father anglicized the family name to Games when Abram was 12.[1] Games left Hackney Downs School at the age of 16 and went to London’s St. Martins School of Art (today the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design). Disillusioned by the teaching at St Martins and worried about the expense of studying there, Games left after two terms. However, while working as a “studio boy” in commercial design firm Askew-Young in London 1932-36, he was attending night classes in life drawing. He was fired from this position due to his jumping over four chairs as a prank.[1] In 1934, his entry was second in the Health Council Competition and, in 1935, won a poster competition for the London City Council. 1936-40, he was on his own as a freelance poster artist.

The Festival of Britain emblem – theFestival Star – designed by Abram Games, from the cover of the South Bank Exhibition Guide, 1951

Stockwell Tube station Motif:Swan by Abram Games – references the name of a pub nearby.

The style of his work — refined but vigorous compared to the work of contemporaries — has earned him a place in the pantheon of the best of 20th-century graphic designers. In acknowledging his power as a propagandist, he claimed, “I wind the spring and the public, in looking at the poster, will have that spring released in its mind.” Because of the length of his career — over six decades — his work is essentially a record of the era’s social history. Some of Britain’s most iconic images include those by Games. An example is the “Join the ATS” propaganda poster of 1941, nicknamed the “Blonde Bombshell” recruitment poster. From 1942, during World War II, Games’s service as the Official War Artist resulted in 100 or so posters.

1946, he resumed his freelance practice and worked for clients such ShellFinancial TimesGuinnessBritish AirwaysLondon TransportEl Al, and the United Nations. He designed stamps for BritainJersey, and Israel. Also, he designed the logo for JFS situated currently in north-west London. There were also book jackets forPenguin Books and logos for the 1951 Festival of Britain (winning the 1948 competition) and the 1965 Queen’s Award to Industry. Evidence of his pioneering contributions is the first (1953) moving on-screen symbol of BBC Television. 1946-53, Games was a visiting lecturer in graphic design at London’s Royal College of Art; 1958, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to graphic design; 1959, was appointed a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI). In the 1950s and of Jewish heritage, he was known to have spent some time in Israel where, among other activities, he designed stamps for the Israeli Post Office and taught a course in postage-stamp design.

Games was also an industrial designer of sorts. Activities in this discipline included the design of the 1947 Cona vacuum coffee maker (produced from 1949, reworked in 1959 and still in production) and inventions such as a circular vacuum and the early 1960s portable handheld duplicating machine by Gestetner. But the duplicator was not put into production due to the demise of mimeography.

In arriving at a poster design, Games would render up to 30 small preliminary sketches and then combine two or three into the final one. In the developmental process, he would work small because, he asserted, if poster designs “don’t work an inch high, they will never work.” He would also call on a large number of photographic images as source material. Purportedly, if a client rejected a proposed design (which seldom occurred), Games would resign and suggest that the client commission someone else.]

Hayward gallery
David Shrigley: Brain Activity

1 February – 13 May 2012

British artist David Shrigley is best known for his humourous drawings that make witty and wry observations on everyday life.Trained as a fine artist, his deliberately crude graphic style gives his work an immediate and accessible appeal, while simultaneously offering insightful commentary on the absurdities of human relationships.

This exhibition, his first major survey show in London, will cover the full range of Shrigley’s diverse practice. This extends far beyond drawing to include photography, books, sculpture, animation, painting and music.Spanning the upper galleries of the Hayward Gallery, the show will also include new artwork and site specific installations.The exhibition is curated by Dr Cliff Lauson, Curator, Hayward Gallery.

Jeremy Deller: Joy in People

22 February – 13 May 2012

A hugely influential artist for much of the past two decades, Turner Prize-winner Jeremy Deller has helped to rewrite the rules of contemporary art in many respects. This mid-career survey – the first in the artist’s career – provides a fresh overview of his multi-faceted work.

The exhibition incorporates almost all of his major works to date, including installations, photographs, videos, posters, banners, performance works and sound pieces. The exhibition is curated by Ralph Rugoff, Director, Hayward Gallery.

~ by mrtbrown on March 18, 2012.

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