April 13, Cooper-Hewitt will host two short talks and a moderated conversation featuring Dutch graphic designer Richard Niessen.
Accompanied by Craig Welsh, Niessen will explore themes of ornament, type, and history in contemporary graphic design. Niessen’s poster series “Palace of Typographic Masonry” creates intricate arrangements of text and pattern, and is now on view in “Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial” until August 21. Read more about Niessen and other Dutch designers at this exhibition in a previously posted article.
The talk will be moderated by Senior Curator of Contemporary Design Ellen Lupton.
Richard Niessen was born in Edam-Volendam in 1972, and graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 1996. Ever since he works on a body of work that he calls ‘Typographic Masonry’. It is the almost hermetic craft of forging amalgams of signs, symbols & ornaments in mostly nonlinear structures. This syncretic approach to graphic design, with a predilection for printwork, creates a coherent formal language exclusively to the project at hand.
Richard works for various clients including artists like Jennifer Tee and Ad de Jong, exhibition spaces as Cobra Museum and Tijdelijk Museum and organizations like the Stimuleringsfonds and Rijksgebouwendienst. In addition, the self-initiated projects (such as “JACK”, “1:1:1”, “Based on Bas Oudt”) lead to experiments with presentation forms and collaborations with other designers and artists.
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. Cooper Hewitt educates, inspires, and empowers people through design by presenting exhibitions and educational programs and maintaining active publications. The Museum was founded in 1897 by Amy, Eleanor, and Sarah Hewitt—granddaughters of industrialist Peter Cooper—as part of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. A branch of the Smithsonian since 1967, Cooper Hewitt is housed in the landmark Andrew Carnegie Mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City.