The Pacific Design Center is pleased to present an exhibition of works by the celebrated graphic designer and artist Paula Scher.
The exhibition will open September 19 with a reception for the artist. Paula Scher will also give a talk on September 20, in conjunction with PDC’s Fall Market.
Since the early 1990s, Paula Scher has been re-imagining society’s approach to data and our
visual representation of the world through mapmaking. Seizing on the fact that no map could ever be entirely accurate, Scher has explored our collective need to categorize and label, even when faced with contradictions and falsehoods. Her maps are subjective, distorted, and playfully deceptive, including typos, amorphous landmasses, and shifting borders. The larger her canvases grow, the more expressionistic her geographical visions become.
Scher’s maps are like nothing ever seen in an atlas; they are composed of typography and vibrating colors, looming large at an outrageous scale. The paintings are filled with a mind-boggling amount of information, including landmasses, neighborhoods, and oceans, swirling with trade routes, time zones, and flight paths. Scher has re-envisioned these geographical spaces as landscapes to reflect the complex intersection of the personal and the political, which structure our view of the world. By combining facts with fiction, each pseudo-scientific map is a commentary on our desire to impose order on the world, and the impossibility of that quest.
Paula Scher’s hand-pulled screenprints are exquisite renditions of her massive maps paintings. Made in collaboration Andy Warhol’s master printer Alexander Heinrici, each print is realized with the same handdrawn elegance of her painted maps. Paula Scher is involved in every step of the printing process, redrawing new plates in the same style as the master printmakers of the 20th century. Each limited edition print is printed on either Deluxe Lana Quarelle paper, or Coventry Rag after which it is inspected, signed, numbered and dated by the artist.
Paula Scher, a principal of the international design consultancy Pentagram, has been at the forefront of American graphic design for three decades. Her work has been exhibited all over the world and is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., the Denver Art Museum, the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, and the Bibliothèque nationale de France and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Her teaching career includes over two decades at the School of Visual Arts, along with positions at the Cooper Union, Yale University and the Tyler School of Art.
Scher has developed identity and branding systems, promotional materials, environmental graphics, packaging and publication designs for a broad range of clients that includes, among others, Bloomberg, Coca-Cola, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, the New York Philharmonic, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Scher is a member of the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame and a past recipient of the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design. She holds three honorary doctorates in graphic design.