On a school trip to a show dedicated to the work of Tomi Ungerer, Philippe Apeloig remembers being thrilled by poster showing an elephant from behind, dipping its trunk into a tin of green paint. From that simple starting point we can trace the development of a designer who went onto produce an extraordinary body of work; who worked for the Musée d’Orsay producing posters for their exhibitions, studied under Wim Crouwel at Total Design and now ranks as one of the most interesting and important graphic designers working today.
As monographs go this is exemplary, packed full of projects which are arranged thematically and featuring many and varied reference points he used in his practice. It also boasts more than 150 pages of original sketches and two excellent essays which introduce and contextualise Philippe’s work both in terms of his biography and his artistic development.
In the second essay Ellen Lupton really captures his prodigious talents when she says: “Ideas rebound across the planes of Apeloig’s works, from year to year, decade to decade… Apeloig often stacks and repeats forms in order to evoke motion and depth. Transposing this basic principle of animation onto the printed page, he contsructs abstract references to time and space. Viewed across his many sketches and digital revisions, his life’s work reveals itself as a body in constant motion, a singular entity that holds together even whole enduring endless transformations.”
She conclude: “He invites us to wander through a thicket of letters, lines, and shapes that coalesce, at the end of our journey, into something magical.”
Typorama: The Graphic Work of Philippe Apeloig published by Thames & Hudson, is out now.
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