Visual Language of Reza Abedini
Platform 21, Amsterdam
11 December 2006 - 21 January 2007
presents an exhibition devoted to Iranian graphic designer Reza Abedini.
Through his work one discovers another side of Iran, the one we don’t
see on CNN, the Iran of poetry, Persian tradition and modern culture.
Reza Abedini’s style unites the rich calligraphic tradition of
Persian culture with ‘modernity’. On 13 December he receives
the Principal Prince Claus Award for his way of applying the knowledge
and accomplishments of Iran’s artistic heritage, renewing them,
and making them exciting again.
This exhibition shows Abedini’s appreciation of Persian tradition,
the historic material he uses as inspiration, his contemporary designs
and the work of his students at the university of Teheran. The combination
of image and typography is the most distinguishing characteristic of his
work. Though the pieces look as if they have been painted, in fact they
have been made on a computer.
Platform 21 has invited Dutch graphic designers Irma Boom and Hans Wolbers
to design the presentation with Abedini. It offers a frame of reference,
a context in which Abedini’s work can be understood. After all,
most western viewers cannot read the words and symbols, and our image
of Iranian culture is still influenced by images we see in the news.
Besides the exhibition, the programme will feature a closed Master Class
for students of the Sandberg Institute and the Design Academy and a public
lecture to be given by Reza Abedini at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy.
Abedini (1967, Iran) emphasises the relationship between visual tradition
and modern design and encourages investigation of the long, rich history
of Persian art and calligraphy. He teaches graphic design and visual culture
at Tehran University. www.rezaabedini.com
Hans Wolbers is creative director of Lava graphic designers, Amsterdam,
which was founded in 1990. Lava became famous for restyling and designing
various commercial and sponsored magazines. Besides designing, Lava organizes
lectures and workshops and work has been exhibited and published. In 1999
the Dutch Publishers Society honoured Hans Wolbers with the title “Art
director of the year”. One of his latest projects is the book ‘New
Visual Culture of Modern Iran’ for BIS Publishers, which he created
in cooperation of Reza Abedini. www.lava.nl
Irma Boom (1960) is a Dutch graphic designer who received her first ‘best
book design’ award in 1988. In 1991 she started her own studio,
Irma Boom Office. Besides books, which are her main interest, she designs
corporate identities, year reports, calendars and stamps. She teaches
at the Yale University and has received many awards, amongst which the
Gutenberg-Preis 2001 of the city of Leipzig. She is also responsible for
the corporate identity of the Prince Claus Fund.
Prince Claus Fund
The Prince Claus Fund is a platform for intercultural exchange. In collaboration
with people and organisations from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the
Caribbean, the Fund realises contemporary activities and publications
in the field of culture and development. The Prince Claus Awards are part
of this policy. The Principal Prince Claus Award of €100,000 will
be presented on 13 December. www.princeclausfund.org