Richard Hollis is a distinctive British graphic designer. The Whitechapel Art Gallery in London is a very particular institution. They came together in two periods between 1969 and 1985 and the result is an exceptional set of inventive, reflexive, and beautifully economical designs by Hollis for the gallery’s programme. Featured artists include Baselitz, Boshier, Clemente, Cornell, Gilbert & George, Gormley, Heron, Hesse, Hockney, Kahlo, Judd, Modotti, and many more.
In this richly illustrated talk Christopher Wilson will outline the techniques and approaches that render Hollis such a remarkable graphic designer, the factors contributing to the success of the collaborative partnership Hollis established with the Whitechapel, and some of the logistical and design challenges he has faced as an author in telling this compelling story.
From 2012 to 2017 Christopher Wilson researched and wrote the definitive book on Hollis’s Whitechapel designs, incorporating interviews with the artists, former gallery staff, and Hollis and his colleagues. Richard Hollis designs for the Whitechapel was published by Hyphen Press in September 2017. Eye magazine said: “As well as being an in-depth exploration of the working relationship and story between designer and client, the book’s span and complexity means that it also functions as a potted social history of postwar Britain, showing the changes that occurred in the country’s politics, culture, design industry and art world. […] Wilson has told a fascinating and illuminating story.” The book was shortlisted for Apollo magazine’s Book of the Year Award 2017. Copies will be available for sale at a reduced price on the evening of the talk.