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De La Warr Pavilion celebrates the life and work of prolific designer Ivan Chermayeff
Winston Churchill The Wilderness Years, 1983.

BEXHILL ON SEA.- De La Warr Pavilion brings together three generations of the Chermayeff family for Cut and Paste, a celebration of the life and work of prolific designer, illustrator and artist Ivan Chermayeff. Ivan is the son of Serge Chermayeff who with Erich Mendelsohn designed Bexhill’s iconic seafront building, and Ivan’s son, architect Sam Chermayeff and his partner Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge, have designed the exhibition.

Cut and Paste is the first exhibition of Ivan Chermayeff’s work in the UK, focusing on the collages he made in his artistic practice but placing them in the context of his corporate brand identity work and poster and publication design.

Born in London in 1932, Ivan Chermayeff emigrated to the US during the war with his family, where he studied at Harvard University, the Institute of Design in Chicago and Yale University’s School of Art and Architecture. In New York he co-founded one of America’s leading graphic design companies, Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, who created logos and brand identities for major corporations such as Mobil, Chase Manhattan and PanAm, and for cultural institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Smithsonian, Washington and Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

In 1959, together with partner Tom Geismar, Chermayeff published watching words move, a book of experimental typography that is now legendary for generations of graphic designers. The small publication combines a Helvetica typeface with the innovative layout and design of individual words and phrases to create motion, narrative and humour.

As an independent practitioner Chermayeff illustrated and designed books, designed posters, made prints and created hundreds of collages and assemblages. He made little distinction between his commercial and personal work, moving with ease between the two, but his greatest pleasure was making collages of imaginary beings and abstract sculptural forms. Cut and Paste presents nearly fifty of Chermayeff’s collages made from envelopes, letterheads, labels, waste paper, Polaroids, magazines, and fragments of type from billboard posters with titles such as Geisha in Amsterdam, Celery Nose, Butterfly Mouth, One Eyed Peasant and Runner.

As well as designs and illustrations for books and magazines, Cut and Paste displays twenty-two posters designed by Chermayeff announcing exhibitions at museums and galleries, the Mobil Masterpiece Theatre series and new television productions. The exhibition also presents a range of Chermayeff’s identity work including designs for Mobil Oil; Chase Manhattan Bank; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington DC; John F Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston; Princeton and Harvard University presses, numerous companies in Turkey and several aquariums around the world.

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