Yale Bulletin and Calendar

September 1, 2000Volume 29, Number 1













Exhibits showcase work of Hispanic artists, Paul Rand

Sterling Memorial Library will celebrate Latino Heritage Month in September with the opening of an exhibit of books by contemporary Hispanic artists.

In addition, the late Paul Rand, a longtime faculty member and world-renowned graphic designer, is the focus of a current exhibition at the library.

Hispanic artists' books

Thirty limited-edition books will be featured in "Poetics, Politics, and Song: Contemporary Latin American/Latino(a) Artists' Books," which will open on Thursday, Sept. 14, in the Sterling Library's Arts of the Book Collection.

The exhibit showcases the work of 16 artists from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Some of the artists now live in the United States.

The books in the exhibition reveal a wide range of artistic, political and personal concerns. Artists in Brazil and Chile in the early 1970s, for example, lived under military dictatorship and censorship, which profoundly influenced their work. Cecilia Vicuña's "Sabor a Mi" (1973) documents the overthrow of the Allende government in Chile in the form of a personal diary with images and poetry. Mexican artist Yani Pecanins explores the relationship between gender and personal power, and the layered transparencies of Brazilian artist Josely Carvalho show the female body as a metaphor for colonialism.

Other books on view play with the visual potentialities of the word, as in the work of Alonso Barros Peña. Others bring together image, text, popular music and popular culture. Cuban artist Antonio Eligio Fernández (Tonel), for example, sets his lithographs to original boleros, or love songs, while saluting Cuban jazz and Havana vernacular.

To celebrate the opening of the show, New York-based Argentinean artist Leandro Katz will give a lecture at 4 p.m. on Sept. 14 in the library lecture hall. A reception will follow 5-7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Chicano artist Enrique Chagoya will be the guest at a Saybrook College master's tea on Friday, Oct. 13, and will speak about his work in the Sterling Library lecture hall. Chagoya is represented in the exhibition by "El Regreso del Canibal Macrobiotico" ("The Return of the Macrobiotic Cannibal"), a satirical statement on contemporary border control politics between the United States and Mexico, among other themes. More information on his talks will appear in a future issue of the Yale Bulletin & Calendar.

"Poetics, Politics and Song: Contemporary Latin American/Latino(a) Artists' Books" coincides with Latino Heritage Month and a regional conference sponsored by the Yale Chapter of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano(a) de Aztlán (MEChA). The exhibit was organized with the support of the Yale University Libraries, the Council on Latin American and Iberian Studies, the Chicano Cultural Center, Saybrook College, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Yale University Art Gallery.

The Arts of the Books Collection is a branch of the Yale University Arts Library housed within Sterling Memorial Library, 120 High St. The collection is devoted to the history of the book and all its attendant arts, including typography, calligraphy, book binding, fine printing, graphic arts and book illustration. Hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1-5 p.m.

For further information, contact D. Vanessa Kam, curator and the Kress Foundation Fellow in Art Librarianship at the Yale University Arts Library, at (203) 432-7074 or via e-mail at vanessa.kam@yale.edu.

Rand's graphic art

"The Graphic Art of Paul Rand" features a broad range of designs by the pioneering artist, including posters, magazine covers, book jackets, children's book illustrations and corporate logos.

Rand, who taught at Yale for three decades, died in 1996. His widow, Marion Rand, donated the artist's personal papers to the Sterling Library's Manuscripts and Archives Department earlier this year. The works featured in the exhibit are drawn from this collection.

Paul Rand's corporate logos for the United Parcel Service, IBM, ABC, Westinghouse and Cummins Engine Company became familiar icons of American commerce. Many of his corporate designs are still in use. Rand served as Cummins' design consultant for 35 years, and the company donated funds to Yale in support of a lectureship at the School of Art in honor of the artist.

Rand received top honors in his field, including the first Florence Prize for Visual Communication by the Universita Internazionale Dell'Arte in Florence, Italy, an award that has been described as the "Nobel Prize for advertising."

"The Graphic Art of Paul Rand" is on view in the Sterling Library's Memorabilia Room. The exhibit has been open since July and will continue through Sept. 8. Library hours are 8:30 a.m.-midnight, Monday-Thursday; 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; and 1 p.m.-midnight Sunday.


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