By Sara Tack
It’s not often that a graphic design show appears in a gallery or a museum and even less often that one shows up in the Capital Region. That’s why it is pretty exciting to see a show of the magnitude of Michael Bierut: 30 Years/90 Notebooks get curated specifically for The College of Saint Rose’s Esther Massry Gallery in Albany.
Bierut, a partner in the renowned design consultancy Pentagram, has had a brilliant career, designing for a host of national and international clients. He is the author of 79 Short Essays on Design and founder of the popular online journal Design Observer. He’s a senior critic at Yale School of Art and frequent guest speaker at design conferences and organizations across the country. His work has won every design award there is to win, including the prestigious American Institute of Graphic Arts medal.
What distinguishes Bierut’s work from much of the design we see on a daily basis is that his pieces use clever, conceptual twists that create messages we have to think twice about. His ability to do this so poignantly is grounded in his knowledge of the subject at hand, his understanding of how to use modernist form to imply meaning, and a natural gift: intuitive wit.