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Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents Jan van Toorn Dialogue with the Public

The Moscow Museum of Modern Art presents Jan van Toorn Dialogue with the Public an exhibition on view FEBRUARY 9, 2014.

Jan van Toorn (born 1932) is a world-known inventive expert and theorist of the graphic design. He doesn’t rely on the laws of publicity and market. His mission is to convey the message contents informally and sharply, using special techniques, to focus on the message semantic contents rather than its design. Van Toorn often calls himself a “visual journalist”.

The retrospective exhibition will contain more than 100 artworks. Among them there are posters, books, calendars, booklets, stamps, magazines, designed by Van Toorn since the 1970s till the present. Thus, the Dialogue with Public project will reflect all stages of the designer’s oeuvre, starting from the early large projects of the 1960-70s till the current artworks, created by his inner impulse. The artworks differ in genres and themes. Thanks to the exhibition it will illustrate typical episodes and edges of the Dutch culture in the mirror of the national production print.

The design by Jan van Toorn can be described as “alien”, far from formal artistic stereotypes, imbued with the creative personality of the reflecting master. Van Toorn stimulates the activity of the visual and semantic perception with the help of the dialogical method, invented by him. Because of his method, the printed messages are filled with skeptical intonations, humor, irony, sincerity. The dialogical method shows itself in different ways. On the one hand, there are political calendars, photographic pamphlets or a human rights poster, devoted to the international study of prisons. On the other hand, there are series of children’s stamps with touching photos of kids from different countries. Also there are two monographs about important representatives of the Dutch visual culture, such as Willem Sandberg and R.D.E. Oxenaar. Van Toorn’s innovative work and impressive theoretical basis rank the designer as one of the prominent representatives of the contemporary art, followers of the avant-garde tradition, appeared in the Western Europe and Russia in the 1920s.

Important and long-term commissioners of the designer are Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven; Mart.Spruijt, a renowned printing company in Amsterdam; Visual Arts Office for Abroad of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs; PTT — State postal and telecommunications service; De Beyerd Centre for Visual Art in Breda; Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht; 010 Publishers in Rotterdam, issuing books on architecture and design. This list of commissioners determines the structure of the exhibition. Moreover, the exhibition will contain archival photos of Jan van Toorn, materials on some projects of the designer, his original photomontages and prints.

A Russian-English catalogue will be published for the exhibition. The editor of the catalogue is Vladimir Krichevski. Authors of the texts are Vladimir Krichevski and Els Kuijpers; the designer is Kirill Blagodatskikh. Also an educational program of Jan van Toorn, Els Kuijpers and Vladimir Krichevski will be organized during the exhibition.

Moscow Museum of Modern Art +7 (495) 231-36-60 l [email protected], [email protected]