Archive

3 October 2014 until 18 January 2015
The Most Beautiful Rhinos are from Tokio
Animal Posters from Japan and Switzerland

Animals usually evoke positive emotions – so it is no surprise to find them as the subject of many posters. But a rhinoceros? The 80 animal posters in this exhibition at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg (MKG) show them in a special light. They are by two eminent contemporary graphic designers and poster artists, the Japanese Kazumasa Nagai and the Swiss Claude Kuhn. Kazumasa Nagai (*1929) has ranked among the leading designers in his country for decades now. In 1987, uncommissioned and at his own cost, he begins to publish small series of animal pictures with short texts drawing attention to the endangered fauna of the world.  These works are in the impressive Japanese poster format of 106 x 73 cm and appear as screen prints in a limited edition. They were never intended to be actually put up as posters, but for exhibitions and collectors. The works of Claude Kuhn (*1948) have a totally different background. His posters are executed with no less scrupulous care for detail – also as silkscreen prints – but they are in fact hung as posters. As a long-time collaborator of the Natural History Museum in Berne, he designs posters for their exhibitions and advertises for special events at Berne Zoo. This background of a commission tied to a specific purpose does not prevent the designer, however, from surprising us again and again with his humour and unconventional motifs. The present exhibition is being held to mark the generous donation of the posters to the MKG by Claude Kuhn and Kazumasa Nagai.

Abb.: © Kazumasa Nagai