Hidden Graphics

The goal of this catalogue and exhibition is to turn an aspect of the contemporary culture into heritage: the graphic design.

The goal of this catalogue and exhibition, following the line of research of KRTU, is to turn an aspect of the contemporary culture into heritage: the graphic design. The book and the exhibition that we present are fruit of a work of reflection and of research in the most innovative graphic creation that strives to emerge, to study and to introduce an ensemble of works that have been submerged and have passed unnoticed by different motifs, or are not known enough in the studies that have been done until now or in what we could name the “official history of the graphic design”.
As point of beginning of this research, we set off from a specific event: the exhibition “Cuatro Graficos” (Four Graphics) that was carried out in the Gaspar Room, the most prestigious art gallery of the moment in Barcelona (where exposed Picasso, Miró or Tàpies), from the 18 of September to the 8 of October 1965 and that showed works of the designers and illustrators Joan Pedragosa i Gervasio Gallardo, Ricard Giralt Miracle, Josep Pla-Narvona. (...)
Our working system has been almost as hazardous as the same history of the graphic design. Despite all, we have established the research under the following parameters:
We have lent a special attention to transgressive exhibits, either in the background or in the form, pieces made looking for the complicity of the public they were aimed at, parts carried out with limited means but that they do important contributions to extend the usual expressive and conceptual limits, parts that experiment with the technology and the new languages, parts that are situated in no-man's land, between the art and the design, mixed pieces, in which different disciplines are intertwined. On the other hand, we have not paid attention to the names, to the authors, as in the specific interest of the exhibits so much.
One of the parameters that we have taken into account is the quantity of edited and printed graphic pieces. We have moved away from the productions of massive tugging. We have included, mainly, those works with short or limited tugging and that, symmetrically, have been received by a limited public.
Another criterion we used is the time. When we have submerged ourselves more deep down and we have looked backward, we have find old graphic pieces but seemed us interesting to show them again, introducing them to a young public that perhaps did not know its existence or, perhaps, it had forgotten.

We have also favored what is ”private” or “personal”, as opposed to what is “public”. While many cultural and institutional communications has been reach for society, there are many graphic parts that have been gone with a certain secrecy, only sights for those that were directly implicated in the process of creation and that have spread in reduced areas.
We have marked the Laus Awards (the only awards in the state that compiles the graphic design works annually with continuity from its first call, in 1964, until now) as they already recovered and recognized, as visible waterline, and plunged to collect most of the parts below this border that marks a certain institutionalization or officiality. Even then, on occasions, we have appropriated parts known enough but that for its character, for the used technique or for its contents, have marked a line of inflection far from the academicism and have converted in model for fertile research.
Consciously, we have run away from territory of the publicity, because it answers to parameters different from this study. In the same way we will find few parts linked to the packaging or the corporate identity: the reason is that most of these assignments, submitted to the strict economic and marketing requirements, of a clearly commercial, or institutional spirit, are moved away of the innovative and often subversive character of the chosen exhibits. (...)

Although the area of performance is the territory of Catalonia, it is true that most of the collected graphic productions are from Barcelona. The reasons are obvious, on the one hand, the quantity of professionals that work and on the other one, the great number of events that have to be communicated and of alternative movements that live together in the city. (...)
However, we have collected pieces of all the Principality and some are from the Balearic Islands and from Valencia, in attempt to give resonance to the movements or groups of graphic activists that have risen in a more or less active way during the period of study and that often have been in contact with other movements of the Catalan Countries. (...)

We want to make clearing that the result of our research is a personal approach, naturally subjective, therefore does not intend to mark a cataloguing of what is pretty or what is not. The main goal is to recover parts that attract us, that have provided us information and that amuse us. At the same time in most of the cases they have not been present in the great exhibitions on graphic design that have been done in our country. We expect it for you to also be a useful tool to rediscover works, authors and trends.

*abstract of the text that acts as presentation to the catalogue of the exhibition Hidden Graphs, an itinerant exhibition that travelled through the four Catalan capitals and that inaugurated the Year of the Design 2003.