Posted in Event, Publication

Typorama | The Graphic Work of Philippe Apeloig | Exhibition + Book — Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris until 30.4.14


Special Thanks to Studio Apeloig, Les Arts Decoratifs and Thames & Hudson for the information and high res book/ project images

Les Arts Décoratifs, in Paris is showing the first major retrospective of the graphic designer Philippe Apeloig, spanning a 30-year international career that he has also recounted in a book, Typorama, published specially for the exhibition. Philippe Apeloig has found inspiration in the modernist movements seeking a fusion of art and design (Constructivism, the Bauhaus, De Stijl) and in his passion for painting, the performing arts and literature. He works chiefly for major cultural institutions (Musée d’Orsay, Louvre,Théâtre du Châtelet), publishing houses (éditions de La Martinière, Robert Laffont, Phaidon Press), art galleries (Galerie Gagosian, Galerie Achim Moeller) and major brands (Puiforcat, Icade and Hermès).For this exhibition Philippe Apeloig has selected more than 150 posters, logos, typographies,books and visual identities and is also showing numerous preparatory studies.

Born in Paris in 1962, Philippe Apeloig studied at the École Supérieuredes Arts Appliqués “Duperré” then at the École Supérieure Nationale des Arts Décoratifs (Ensad). At Duperré, he enrolled in the “visual expression”section, attracted by the creative dimension evoked by its title but unaware of the contents of its curriculum. It proved to be a crucial choice because he discovered calligraphy and the painstaking drawing skills it involves. In 1983 he won an internship with Total Design in Amsterdam,founded in 1963 by Wim Crouwel, which made a profound impact onthe visual environment in the Netherlands. In the early 80s, Total Design was already using a revolutionary design tool: the computer. For Philippe Apeloig, this avant-garde approach to graphic design opened up entirely new perspectives in the contemporary and experimental uses of typography,and also the use of the grid as layout structure (pioneered by the Swiss graphic designers). During a second internship at Total Design in 1985, he further immersed himself in the discipline of collective work in a studio,and in the Stedelijik Museum discovered Mondrian and Malevich. These decisive experiences further enriched his cultural universe, then largely focussed on theatre and contemporary dance, particularly the work of Alwin Nikolaïs, Merce Cunningham and Pina Bausch, from which stemmed the idea to treat the letter as a choreographed body.

The Typorama book

Typorama, Philippe Apeloig, graphic design (with texts by Ellen Lupton & Alice Morgaine)

More than a mere monograph, this book is an invitation to explore the inner world of Philippe Apeloig’s creative process.The idea germinated when Philippe Apeloig and Tino Grass, a young German graphic designer, met during a series of lectures on typography in Düsseldorf in 2006. When he discover ed Philippe Apeloig’s archives,Tino Grass wanted to illustrate his creative process by showing the successive stages of a project, from the initial sketches to the final design. The book begins with two essays by Alice Morgaine and Ellen Lupton,fully illustrated with images, clips from films and other sources revealingPhilippe Apeloig’s imaginative universe.

The book is then divided into two sections.

– The first section has five thematic chapters: Museums,Theatre, music and dance, Publications, Posters and typography, Logos and visual identities. An exhaustive overview of Philippe Apeloig’s finished works, each with detailed commentaries and fully illustrated, ranging from the posters forthe Musée d’Orsay when it first opened in 1986-87 to logo of the Louvre Abu Dhabi in 2013.

– The second section focuses on Philippe Apeloig’s preparatory studies,presented chronologically from the most recent to the earliest. His computer drawings, photocopies, photos, collages and sketches all provide a fuller understanding of how he develops his projects, and also highlight the evolution of design techniques since the 80s, when digital technology revolutionised the work of the graphic designers of his generation.The Typorama book gave rise to the exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs from November 21st, 2013 to March 30th, 2014.

Published in French by the Éditions Les Arts Décoratifs and in English by Thames & Hudson.


Philippe Apeloig Portrait  © Carlos Freire



No comments yet - be the first.

Leave a comment