This past October writer, curator, and graphic designer Ellen Lupton shared her perspective on design at the Goldsholl studio, the focus of the 2018 Block exhibition Up is Down: Mid-Century Experiments in Advertising and Film at the Goldsholl Studio. In the 1950s and ’60s, the Goldsholl design firm’s creative experiments with light and media found their ways to lucrative commercials and patents. In her talk, titled “Design is Art That People Use”, Lupton dived into early design influences upon the Goldsholls, as well as the way the Goldsholls’ sensibilities evolved to push the envelope of visual language in advertising. She considered this history of design innovation, and the state of experimentation and design today; focusing on the commercials and projects that artists create for the ubiquitous digital screens around us. Screening short films and animations, Lupton showcased the playful, sophisticated, and experimental nature of this work.
Co-sponsored by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation. Presented by The Block Museum of Art in conjunction with Art Design Chicago and in partnership with the Segal Design Institute and Medill Integrated Marketing and Communications.
About Ellen Lupton
Ellen Lupton is director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, where she also serves as director of the Center for Design Thinking. As curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum since 1992, she has produced numerous exhibitions and books, including Mechanical Brides: Women and Machines from Home to Office (1993), Mixing Messages: Graphic Design and Contemporary Culture (1996), Letters from the Avant-Garde (1996), and Skin: Surface, Substance + Design (2002).
Images from the evening