Wim Crouwel: International Man of Style
Last week Gluekit attended a very nice AIGA evening event at the New School in New York. After a quick jaunt uptown to take in the Kara Walker retrospective at the Whitney, and a narrow avoidance with some dodgy character blocking up the subway lines, Gluekit settled into cozy seats at the Tishman Auditorium and took in a conversation with two pioneers of modernism, Wim Crouwel and Massimo Vignelli, moderated by Alice Twemlow. There’s a nicely detailed announcement of the talk here, and as usual AIGA did a fabulous job of organizing the event. It’s always sweet to attend a well-handled lecture, that starts on time, is handled deftly, and that does what it’s supposed to do. In this case, Twemlow scurried hither and thither across the careers of both men, teasing out commonalities and differences, and showing the wide swathe of each man’s design legacy. It was a great session, and for us, Wim totally rocked our sox. There’s something appealing about the application of a system of production that’s reliable, extensible and modular.
Favorite moment? When, after a review of Crouwell’s New Alphabet, Twemlow threw up the album cover for Joy Division’s Substance and noted, to gasps of realization from the audience, that the cover actually reads “Substamce.” It was a beautiful moment of collective realization.
Glukit likes grids, modernism, and mistakes.