Ed Fella, Sketchbook # 42 (p. 60), 1996, 8-1/4 x 6”
Courtesy the artist.
February 6, 2008
Two Lines Align
(Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater)
Two Lines Align: Drawings and Graphic Design by Ed Fella and Geoff McFetridge
Curated by Michael Worthington
Wednesday, February 20, 6- 9pm
February 21 – April 6, 2008
Two Lines Align is an exhibition about the evolution of graphic design in the context of massive changes in our visual culture. As guest curator Michael Worthington notes in the catalogue essay, the exhibition explores “the shifts in the perceived cultural worth [of art and graphic design] over time…by placing Ed Fella’s and Geoff McFetridge’s design careers end to end to make one chronological line, one lineage. While Fella’s career reflects how graphic design has historically struggled to define itself in relationship to art, McFetridge follows a path wherein the integration of art and design is taken for granted.”
Representing two generations, Ed Fella (b. 1938) and Geoff McFetridge (b. 1971) have transformed and actively altered the relationship of graphic design to art. Their unorthodox and nontraditional practices, rooted in drawing and the hand-rendered, compel us to question our preconceptions of what graphic design has been, as well as what it might be.
AIGA Medal awardee Fella uses illustration, photography and graphic experimentation as vehicles for his philosophical musings on art, design, literature and typography. After practicing successfully as a commercial artist in Detroit for 30 years, Fella left the commercial world to pursue independent, self-initiated experimental projects proudly proclaiming himself an “exit-level designer.” The exhibition will survey Fella’s prolific practice, which includes the complete set of 130 do-it-yourself flyers (from the first in 1969—to the most recent produced for this exhibition), a selection from Fella’s 100 sketchbooks dating back to the 1960s that have never been exhibited before, and other personal and commercial projects.
As a practitioner of what he describes as “the solitary arts,” McFetridge inverts the traditional client/designer relationship and produces work that is as much for his own gratification as for that of the client. His unique and influential practice has ranged from client-based projects that include designs for billboards, skateboards, t-shirts and other products for companies such as Nike, Patagonia and BE: Bicycle Company; music videos for The Whitest Boy Alive; and title sequences for films such as Sofia Coppola’s Virgin Suicides. McFetridge will present a new, site-specific installation for REDCAT, as well as drawings, posters, and products.
This exhibition is conceived and organized by Michael Worthington, an award-winning graphic designer and faculty member of CalArts’ School of Art. The exhibition is accompanied by a 240-page color catalogue designed by Worthington with texts by Worthington, Jamer Hunt and an interview with the artists.
Fella received his MFA in Design from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1987 and received an honorary doctorate from CCS in Detroit in 1999. He has received the 1997 Chrysler Design Award and 2007 AIGA Medal. His work is in the collections of the National Design Museum, New York and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Fella is currently on faculty at CalArts where he has been teaching since 1987. McFetridge received his MFA in Graphic Design at CalArts. His thesis project Chinatown won a distinctive merit award from ID magazine. While working as art director for Grand Royal Magazine (1995-1997), McFetridge founded his own design studio, Champion Graphics. He has had solo shows at galleries around the world including Parco Gallery, Tokyo; MU, Eindhoven; and Colette, Paris. His work is in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Two Lines Align: Drawings and Graphic Design by Ed Fella and Geoff McFetridge is made possible in part by Everloving and Feal Mor. Additional support provided by CalArts Dean’s Fund and the Faculty
Special thanks to The Standard, the official hotel of REDCAT.
Admission to the gallery is always free
Gallery hours: noon-6 pm or intermission, closed Mondays
Visit http://www.redcat.org or call +18.104.22.16800 for more information
631 West 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012 USA