In November 2014 it was announced that London’s Kemistry Gallery was leaving its Shoreditch home after an astronomical rent rise it was unable to meet. Much of the conversation around the news looked forward to the future, amid ambitious plans for a bigger, better space that could become a UK centre for graphic art and design.
But we thought it was also a good chance to look back at ten extraordinary years of exhibitions through the graphics used to advertise them. Milton Glaser says that Kemistry’s “curatorial instincts are impeccable” and their posters are proof of an unerring eye for showcasing and celebrating the best practitioners around, from the industry’s leading lights (Seymour Chwast, Ken Garland, Saul Bass) to exciting rising stars (most of whom have subsequently gone on to be highly-celebrated in their field).
In the Winter issue of Printed Pages we spoke to Kemistry founder Graham McCallum about the potential of graphic art and its legacy, and showed off some of the gallery’s best posters from their impressive back catalogue. Here’s a selection of some that we published, and some that we didn’t have room for because, if we’re honest, you’d need a whole book to fully capture the Kemistry back catalogue.
- Manshen Lo creates surreal, comic-inspired observational illustrations
- “To me, being a man just means being yourself”: five creatives share their thoughts on masculinity
- Hexatope: the web-app utilising computational arts to make personalised jewellery
- Lucy Hardcastle on her “most progressive film to date”
- Moby Digg creates grid-based identity for finance company Baugeld Spezialisten
- Typography and National Socialism – the journey of Futura in an era of "reactionary modernity"
- Peter Funch has photographed the same people on the same street for nine years
- DBLG and Animade’s cheeky stop-motion animation uses human skin and 3D stamps
- “It needed to be functional, a workhorse”: Arket’s in-house team on its brand identity
- Get to know the fluid work of graphic designer, Steffen Hotel
- Fukt magazine presents the erotic drawings of David Shrigley, Tracy Emin and many more
- Poster Girls, an exhibition of 150 female graphic designers opens at London Transport Museum