Art & Design

Wall therapist:
  St. Monci at work

If you have been engaged by the Wall/Therapy concept, and maybe took some time to go out and look over the products by these outdoor mural activists, you may have come in contact with St. Monci at work in a neighborhood near you.  This month of September, St. Monci comes inside for a showing at 1975 Gallery called “Adventures in Technicolor”, and you will see the super-graphics of a colorist and neo-constructivist.

St. Monci: “Wonder Droid”

The little gems on view are mostly paint on paper, but the medium is only part of the game here.  The art can remind one of the Russian abstractionists Malevich and El Lissitzky who a century ago broke open the notion of the artist as suprematist, a kind of radical reductionist that brought art to a common denominator of shape and color.

photo courtesy of Hannah Betts
St. Monci installation at 1975 Gallery

The walls at 1975 Gallery are color coordinated inside to meet and match the smaller artworks framed for presentation.  While Wall/Therapy is big and brash outdoors, inside the gallery these precise abstractions are stimulating – I like to follow the paths of color and the overlaps of colors creating  spatial depth – many of these paintings employ an isometric perspective that makes these works of art look like architecture – once again, bringing the outside in.

Roger Remington,
   celebrated Graphic Design professor at R.I.T.

Roger Remington was showing slides – not to his class, though some were in attendance, but to a collected audience of peers and well-wishers gathered to celebrate Roger’s 50 years of dedication to teaching graphic design at R.I.T.   Roger Remington has authored a stack of books on great designers of the modernist era – these are the figures that have created a look for publications, for corporations, and for the media that we have become so familiar with over the years.  It wasn’t always thus.

Roger ushered in a wave of education that honors 20th century design history, and also seeks to collect the actual physical sketches, drawings and designs for the archive at The Vignelli Design Center on the campus of R.I.T.

One marvelous image Roger had on the screen above shows designer Massimo Vignelli looking at the building named in his honor that house his collection of artifacts, signs, furniture and much more.  Over the years I have spent as a designer and illustrator I worked on projects that were set in motion because of Vignelli’s designs – so I could see the aesthetic in action and the effect it had – very logical, but very intuitive at the same time.

Roger Remington has made all the difference in the world – giving acknowledgement of design as a pursuit of high purpose – and aesthetic substance that helped us form our present culture, and something worthy of respect.  Roger ended his talk with a quote from John Steinbeck:

  ” I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few of them as there are any other great artists.  Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”

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