Dates: November 17 to December 11, 2016
Vernissage: Wednesday, November 16 at 6 pm
Curator: Jocelyne Le Bœuf, Director - Design Lab Research at L'École de design Nantes Atlantique
The posters of Nelu Wolfensohn convey their message with incisive images and few words. Notes Vagabondes, a retrospective at the UQAM Centre de Design, offers the public an opportunity to appreciate the talent of this graphic designer and professor at the UQAM School of Design. Many of his posters were selected in international design competitions, and reflect current political, social or cultural issues, relevant both to Quebec realities and also, to the universal concerns of our time.
Dealing with topics such as human rights, terrorism, academic life, the arts, design and psychoanalysis, Wolfensohn skillfully harnesses a constant dialogue between meaning and images.The metaphorical added value of his posters challenges our minds and enhances our vision. His works suggest several levels of interpretation; however, strong conceptual contents do not rule out form originality and richness. Even when shocking, as sometimes they are, his posters are clothed in poetry and beauty, for Wolfensohn's visual punch arrives most of the time in a sumptuous velvet glove…
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, Notes vagabondes. Métaphores et mémoire dans les affiches de Nelu Wolfensohn. Written by exhibition curator Jocelyne Le Bœuf, the publication includes essays by Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Adriana Dredge, art critic and, until recently, Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts London; and Ronald Jr. Filion-Mallette, designer and professor at the UQAM School of Design.
Bucharest-born graphic designer Nelu Wolfensohn settled in Montreal in 1976 and, after several years as art director at Graphisme Lavalin, became a professor at the UQAM School of Design in 1992. In his teachings, Professor Wolfensohn focuses mainly on the conceptualization process and the realization of complex design projects. Some of the assignments relate to the political life of Quebec and Canada. As such, from 2002 to 2015, during municipal, provincial and federal elections, his students created parallel propaganda campaign posters, most appreciated for their originality, audacity and strength. Among his many pedagogical initiatives, one is definitely well known: Concepts for All, an on-line image bank offering free downloads of visual concepts for humanitarian causes.
Wolfensohn's works are regularly exhibited and published, and can be found in museums, libraries and private collections. During his career he has won numerous graphic design awards in both Canada and abroad. Twenty-seven of his posters are included in the permanent collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (MMFA), and he is the only Canadian poster artist whose work was published in the MMFA 2012 Decorative Arts and Design book. Wolfensohn also was the only Canadian designer invited to the World's Best Poster Designers Exhibition 2015 at the 1st International Poster Festival of Shenzhen, in China.
Nelu Wolfensohn is active on various committees and juries in national and international design events and has been a guest speaker at seminars and conferences in Canada and abroad. In 2014, he was the president of the international jury at the 13th International Poster Biennial in Mexico. He is an honorary member of the Quebec Graphic Designers Society (SDGQ).
Location and hours
UQAM Design Center
1440 Sanguinet Street (corner of Sainte-Catherine East)
Montreal (Berri-UQAM metro)
Open Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 6 pm
7.5 x 10.0
7.0 x 10.0