Wednesday, 8 February 2012

I could look at this stuff all day...

I love the simplicity of Jelle Martens' collages. Especially the series 'In the quivering forest' below. His use of colour is spot on and I like the vintage, stained feeling of the landscapes. They remind me a bit of my dads old discoloured maps (thats a good thing).

(Images above: from Jelle Martens series 
'in the quivering forest')

For me, his seemingly very simple works are as rhythmic and as energetic on the paper as the likes of Hans Neuberg or Josef Muller Brockmann

(Image above. Zurcher Kunstler in der Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland- c1966)

While Mertens has tipped his hat to "the minimal graphic design of the 1960's and early 1970's" his more abstract works 'tussendoor' and 'vormenklus' (below) reflect influences that reach further back than to Mondrian and Malevich

(images above: Jelle Martens from series 'tussendoor')

Finally, I can't look at Jelle's work with out contemplating the work of Helio Oiticica(below) who, while largely unknown in the design world, refreshingly reflects the principals of visual communication that I hold so high; structure, use of space and colour.

It's nice to see new work rediscovering and developing these themes, as when they were first pulled apart by the constructivist artists of the Russian avant-garde before them (El Lissisky, Presner and Gabo). 

So, much more than just appreciating Martens 'vintagey' style or however much his work reminds me of my dad's old book collection, it's the principals that he explores that facinate me, as much as the pleasure of looking at them. This is also why I think graphic artists like Martens are relevant to the conversation and can contribute so much to 'every day' design. 

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