News / Exhibition

Type High, sculptural letterforms by winners of the Rhoda Lubalin Fellowship opens in New York


Type High, an exhibition by Michael Prisco and Helen Sywalski, winners of the Rhoda Lubalin Fellowship, is on display at 41 Cooper Gallery, New York. 

Michael and Helen are both graduates of The Cooper Union School of Art and won the annual prize granted to seniors who have excelled in graphic design. The Rhoda Lubalin Fellowship began in 1987, in honour of Rhoda’s husband, graphic designer Herb Lubalin. The fellowship is a research based project using the Lubalin Centre’s collection as a starting point. 

The exhibition explores how typography is enjoyed on a page, but also by using three-dimensional tools. Built in Michael’s family workshop in North Carolina, movable type originally made from wood or lead, inspired the concept. “Movable type was our entry point to understanding how type works in a physical space, from there we explored calligraphy, relief carving and signage as points where typography becomes physical. But we didn’t remain so literal in our research,” says Helen. 

The exhibition is a playful exploration of type that sees four-feel-tall sculptures of letterforms take over the exhibition space. Each artwork plays with depth and the perspective of the viewer, for example the negative space in the shape of the letter A is extruded, “so that viewers become more aware of its autonomous shape”.

The exhibition is open until 16 February. 


Type High: Letter A detail. Photo: Colin Williams


Type High: Process. Photo: Colin Williams


Type High: Process. Photo: Colin Williams


Type High: Process. Photo: Colin Williams


Type High: Process. Photo: Colin Williams


Type High: Process. Photo: Colin Williams