Monday, 4 April 2011

Book - Lanfranco Bombelli


The American Trade Center used to be extremely promotionally active around Europe to promote and showcase American products and innovation. The tool was a set of exhibitions in European capital cities such as Milan, Stockholm, Paris and Frankfurt from 1963 1978. It was held in the folowing up of the Marshall Plan to suport and strengthen Europe's economic foundation.

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Image taken by urbanTick / Art work by Lanfranco Bombelli for the US Trade Centre Exhibitions.

Lanfranco Bombelli was commissioned to design each exhibition. He started earlier, around 1950, to work for the US Government as an pavilion architect, together with Peter Harnden.

Actar has published a catalog Lanfranco Bombelli - US Trade Centre Graphics in Europe for the exhibition with the same title at the Arts Santa Mònica. The exhibition featured an instalation by Tom Carr. You can see some images from the exhibition set up process HERE.

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Image taken by urbanTick / Art work by Lanfranco Bombelli for the US Trade Centre Exhibitions.

The US trade shows run on a very tight schedule four exhibitions per month. Bombelli worked on each for five days, spends two days for the design and three for the production. This publication covers his graphics work, both for the exhibitions spaces and for the posters and flyers.

In an awesome little book these graphical works are here summarised. Very little text lets them speak for themselves. Bombelis art, was as the catalog points out, "based on geometrical compositions and inspired by mathematical principles". The cear shapes, the fitting colours and the linear arrangements are standing in for the perfect graphical language even though they are produced as art works. It fits perfect with the current visualisation trend and can be put in line with recent publication such as Otto Neurath by Nai Publishers or Gerd Arntz by 010. However while the Neurath and Arntz both were interested in the characterisation of representation, Bombelli is illustrating and interpreting, not developing an ordering system but a visual communication language.

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Image taken by urbanTick / Art work by Lanfranco Bombelli for the US Trade Centre Exhibitions.

Carr, T. & Altaio, V., 2009. Lanfranco Bombelli: US Trade Center Graphics in Europe Bilingual., Barcelona: Actar.

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