Carte blanche à la graphiste Marian Bantjes

02.07 – 05.10.2014

For its thirteenth designer carte blanche, the mudac has given over two rooms to Marian Bantjes, who describes herself as a graphic artist. From 2 July to 5 October 2014, she will be transforming the museum’s ground floor into a cabinet of curiosities revealing some of her most recent work.
She is «one of the most innovative typographers working today,» according to Stefan Sagmeister, who was himself invited to stage a carte blanche in 2011. Born in Canada in 1963, and currently living and working on a small island near Vancouver, Marian Bantjes says she fell into graphic design by accident; she is now one of its most prominent and influential exponents. She started out as a typographer, co-running a design studio from 1984 to 2003, before dedicating herself full-time to developing her own very personal and experimental style of visual communication.
Bringing together calligraphy and the decorative arts, she readily combines natural materials and hand work with the most up-to-date computer techniques.
Marian Bantjes draws inspiration from art deco, rococo, pop art, romanticism and gothic styles, juxtaposing them in unexpected ways to create a coherent visual universe. «I am indeniably playful,» she says (I Wonder, 2010).
Her carte blanche, inspired by her recent monograph Pretty Pictures, leaves us in no doubt. Visitors are invited to wander through a golden-walled labyrinth and discover her inventive works made of crystallised sugar, pasta, embroidery and metal. A large part of the exhibition is devoted to Valentine’s Day, and her longstanding resolution to send out cards annually for 14th February, rather than Christmas, which has given rise to a new creation every year: original graphical compositions, calligraphy from old postcards and reclaimed fan letters to the actor Robert Wagner are just some of the examples.
Marian Bantjes has an affinity with the fantastical, which makes its presence felt throughout the exhibition, in its graphical design elements, which she created, and in the German title she chose to give it.

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