The musée des Arts décoratifs et du Design pursues its annual cycle, inaugurated in 2014, dedicated to decorative Arts and design collectors and invites, for this 4th edition, Pierre Ponant, graphic design historian and critic, to present his collection of Czech books from the period between the two world wars.
From Rondocubism to Dadaist collage and photomontage, the covers of novels published in Prague in those years reflect the major currents that shaped the history of 20th century art. In addition to the work of multidisciplinary artists like Josef Čapek, Karel Teige and Adolf Hoffmeister, the exhibition highlights the key role of publishers in the quest of new relations between the text and the image, and the new typographic experiments.
Visitors travel back in the artistic context of Prague in the early twentieth century : drawings, paintings, movies, posters and photographs suggest the effervesence of the city, when grow all the artistic avant-gardes.
For this exhibition, Pierre Ponant has compiled a collection of more than 100 of these books. Paintings, drawings, engravings and furniture on loan from the Prague Museum of Decorative Arts (Umprum), the Moravska Galerie in Brno and Galerie Le Minotaure (Paris) complete this rare panorama of graphic design.
Pierre Ponant's books and magazines of the Czech avant-garde resonate with today's graphic design. The emergence of experimental ways of publishing, the invention of new print processes and the raise of a new generation of authors and graphic designers echo the artistic blooming of Prague at the beginning of the last century. A conference day, in collaboration with the École supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux (Bordeaux school of fine arts), supported by the Czech centre in Paris, will involve contemporary actors of the graphic design scene: the discussions will be centred around the notions of conceptual heritage, multilingualism and new technological processes, which redefine today's production.