Last week of the magazine’s work the sad news came: Vladimir Yefimov passed away. It’s still incongruous. I start writing something about his role in design, and words fail to convey my feelings. He did more than fonts, he changed the visual world view for the better with his selfless work. The scale of his personality and his role in the whole Russian letter-centric culture was enormous. It seems that the connection between today’s designer life and the whole historical epoch has passed away together with him.
We all know how much he did move the profession forward, but everyone who knew him, for sure remembers personal stories. So do I. Of course, I had been familiar with the name of Vladimir Yefimov and his works before meeting him at the intensives of the Higher Academic School of Graphic Design in 2003. That summer I first came to his lectures, and I was struck by the incredible concentration of the information he gave us in a unit of time. He seemed to want to use every moment to share what he knew. He was always very generous sharing with everyone around him — until now I have the systematic collection of illustrations on font history, which Vladimir gave me as a gift.
Then he agreed to join the editorial board of Projector. Without his participation and publications the magazine would have never actualized itself. Vladimir’s remarks were always fair and accurate, immediately corrected our font clumsiness and reorganized the thoughts in the head. Herewith, I had never heard him speaking about someone or something a rude way. He was a very gentle and sensitive man. He sometimes, phoned while visiting Staint-Petersburg, and I stopped anything I was busy doing to meet him again. We sometimes met at exhibitions in Moscow. He was always lively and sincerely curious about what was happening in the profession, in the manner of the young and caring. and this feature is the young and passionate -this is what he was like.
While working on publications on the font for Projector, I knew that at a distance of an e-mail or a phone call there was a source of knowledge, which I could always get advice, explanation, historical information or recommendation from, the person whose constant helpfulness could open any door. Now, when it’s, as usual, too late, I keep thinking why I had turned to this source so rarely?
I have no doubt that everyone who met him will remain grateful for these meetings forever. He passed away very early and could have done so much more! But the knowledge he put into the heads of his disciples, and the attitude to the profession he put in their heart, books with his autographs, pictures and bright-light memory of the extraordinary man will remain with us, and Projector will keep his name among the members of our editorial board.
Projector № 1(18) 2012
The new Projector of 2012 has come out. This is the eighteenth number, if we start counting from the very beginning. Since this issue the magazine has put on weight - it’s not 112, but already 128 pages of the visual view of the world. And this is still the early days.
Eight advanced art galleries of Saint-Petersburg have participated in the first «ProArt». As the publisher and senior editor, I hope that more new members of our artistic and publishing process will be turning up. I rely on your good offices: «ProArt» №1 on pages 112-128.
And now we return to the beginning of the magazine. This is another special edition, this time dedicated to Finnish design. Long ago Finland became one of the leading design countries all over the world, along with the Netherlands, Japan, Switzerland, Italy, Britain and other design authorities of this world. Finnish design as a powerful and extremely charismatic phenomenon has stepped far outside the country. Finnish design objects- the works by Alvar Aalto, Ilmari Tapiovaara, Yrjo Kukkapuro, Eero Aarnio and other masters of the twentieth century — occupied the most honorable place in the museums of modern art and design throughout the world ages ago. Collectors hunt for authentic works by these authors of the mid-twentieth century, and many items designed half a century ago, or even earlier, haven’t gone off the assembly line so far. Moreover, his year Helsinki has received the honorary title of «The World Capital of Design». Surely, Projector, couldn’t miss such an event!
The issue features many interviews — we couldn’t help chatting to the world’s leading artists. The patriarch of Finnish design Yrjo Kukkapuro, whose path in the profession began back in the mid-1950s, took us to his house, more like a flying saucer than a house in a prestigious suburb of Helsinki. He constructed this house according to his own project in 1968. And now, for over forty years, Yrjö’s been living and working here with his wife. Now the united space under sophisticatedly curved roof is filled with objects by the designer, both of serial production and singular prototypes. This is a real house museum now.
«Kari Piippo one of the best-known Finnish graphic designers, not only gave a lecture in Staint-Petersburg in the autumn, but also was interviewed by Projector: «Today the world is having more poster exhibitions and workshops than ever before. Only for the Poster Biennale in Lahti (Finland) about seven thousand works were sent in 2011, which suggests that the interest in the art of the poster isn’t getting weaker. Speaking for myself, today I rarely have an opportunity to work on new posters. Most of my works were created for my own exhibitions or as a response to social and political issues of the day. The poster, in my opinion, is already not «street art» — its best examples are exhibited in museums and kept in private collections, being the same investments as other pieces of art».
Last year, when we went to Helsinki to the opening of the exhibition of the best Finnish Graphic design, I noticed very lively and vibrant (although monochromatic!) lettering posters by the young Finnish designer Linda Linko. And when the exhibition came on tour to Saint-Petersburg, we had no doubt who of the young graphic artists would be offered to come to us with a portfolio show. Linda also kindly answered the questions of Projector. «I drew a very funny caricature of my boyfriend. He showed it to a friend at the bar, and his friend — Lauri — was very impressed. It so happened that Lauri is quite a famous person in the music business: he is aperforming artist and a producer of musical events. He brings all good DJs to Helsinki. I started to paint the posters for these events. I made one, and he immediately ordered five more. I have drawn twenty-five posters for him during the year, all of them by hand. I think this work is funny, because I don’t know much about this music. Lauri says a few words about the musician, and I try to generate a certain feeling. This is often just my impression of the musician’s name or the name of the group».
Project № 4 «Subject» opens with an ax. Pavel Ulyanov, the curator of the gallery Modernariat and the mover of the design processes, has an amazing material ingenuity. The combination of encyclopedic knowledge, intuition and luck allows him to retrieve rare and amazing items out of oblivion, such as, for example, this ax, made especially for the exhibition of the Finnish pavilion of the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900.
And again Pavel Ulyanov, who procured the unique ax, makes a review of the having already become classics period in the history of Finnish design between the 1910s and 1970s — Eliel Saarinen to Eero Aarnio.
In continuation of the project №4 «Subject» there’s a couple of objects — one of them is the Smallroom sofa, which I noticed among the novelties of the Stockholm Furniture Exhibition.
And the second one is the chair Kilta, which, on the contrary, refers to the timeless design classic. It is not surprising, because this object by the designer Olli Mannermaa has been produced since 1955!
Another UFO in addition to the house of Yrjo Kukkapuro is Futuro House. The architect Matti Suuronen designed a typical plastic house in the same 1968, as Kukkapuro made his one. The basis of the project is an ellipsoid capsule of eight meters in diameter and four in height, assembled of sixteen fiberglass panels (eight upper and eight lower ones), and each panel had a five- centimeter warming layer of polystyrene foam. The basic design involved sixteen elliptical windows on the perimeter, and more can be set as an option. You could enter the house from the airstairs, which made the house even more similar to a UFO as it was imagined in the sixties. The polymer capsule was placed on the basis of four steel supports.
Project №5 «Environment» is continued with another amusing construction — you can not tell whether it’s a house or a sculpture. A Bubble, in a word — that’s what the observation tower, designed by the Finnish architect Ville Hara, is called . Perhaps the best definition for this thing is an environmental object.
Also, the issue continues publishing the series of articles dedicated to the objects of the management company Theorem, implemented in Saint-Petersburg in cooperation with the architectural bureau NPS Tchoban voss. This time we’re speaking of one of the brightest new buildings in the city — the business center Benois.
Project №7 «Photography» represents the works of a series «Archive» by Petri Summanen. We always publish a «portrait» of the camera, the main working tool of a photgrapher. Petri fascinated me with dismantling his Polaroid into 78 components! This is one of the best portraits ever published in the magazine. The rest of the photos are as good as this one! The entire series of «Archive» is extremely witty and profound.
Project № 8 «School» presents two semester assignments of the students at Aalto University. One of them is done in collaboration with the furniture company Isku, and the second one — with the airline Blue1. The most striking thing is that the results of the student projects have been launched into production: in one case it’s a furniture object, and in another case, a livery color scheme! The stunning result and mature performance.
Project №9 «Books» traditionally concludes the magazine. This time, here’s only one large publication — Mikhail Karasik interviews the book artist Alexander Reichstein, who has lived in Finland for many years.
But this is not the end of the magazine. As I mentioned at the very beginning, we have the project №10 «Aboutart». In the pilot issue featured: Al Gallery, Gallery of Anna Nova, Gallery Art Re.FLEX, Medialaboratory Cyland, Frants Gallery Space, Marina Gisich gallery, the space Kuhnya and Modernariat Gallery. Give a Bell’s to the most advanced spaces, showing contemporary art.