Sagmeister & Walsh:
Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt/Main
10 May – 15 September 2019
“The only salvation: Beauty” – so reads the title of a book and is not contradicted by the fact that there is also an aesthetic of ugliness. The Austrian graphic artist Stefan Sagmeister, who works in New York, recognised this at an early stage, and pushed it to the point of engraving onto his own body.
Beauty is what concerned him over many years, he who designed for pop stars such as Lou Reed and became an acclaimed graphic artist with all the trappings, such as groupies taking selfies with him and the stretch limousine in which he attended a concert by the Rolling Stones. Beauty has occupied his thoughts for years. He has pondered it, questioned colleagues of all genders, and finally put together an exhibition and an accompanying book with his studio partner, Jessica Walsh, that present attitudes to beauty ranging from urban planning to graphic design. Both will now be presented in Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst, curated by the artist and designer Peter Zizka, and the opening will again, without the need for any prophetic gifts, be similar to the beginning of the Sagmeister show in 2016, in the same place, with jubilation, many posted images and also probably another speech by Zizka. He understands the balancing act between high and low and can be self-deprecating, both good prerequisites for a successful start, but an extra day should be scheduled to view the exhibition since the theme requires texts and, as a result, peace and time; beauty - the plural form would be more appropriate - illuminated from different perspectives. Sagmeister expressed aspects of his own point of view in 2017 for an exhibition at the Museum of Design in Zurich, “I only cared about beauty. I did not try out a chair to see if it was comfortable, I did not inquire with an advertiser if the campaign was working, I did not give a shit if a lamp was giving enough light.”
An accompanying book is available in bookshops at 39.80 euro.