Monday, February 8, 2010

Designer Spotlight - Alexander Girard

From time to time, the designers at JB Chicago want to give a shout out to a graphic artist that inspires us. Many people don't know the name Alexander Girard, but he was widely considered the greatest colorist and textile designer of modern time.

Girard used traditional folk art to infuse color, whimsy, and humor into vibrant modern design. He was able to capture the essence of Latin America while still creating designs that were fresh and contemporary, finding the perfect balance of high and low art forms. Girard managed to inject an uninhibited use of color and a clever playfulness into the industry. He turned to countries like Mexico and India where a handicraft, or folk art, tradition still thrived, their processes, motifs and colors not yet threatened by an industrial culture. These pieces inspired Girard to develop a new method of coloring and patterning that proved to be a vibrant counterpoint to American modernist furniture.

To get started let's check out this quick retrospective from House Industries

Nativity poster by Alexander Girard. The poster is for an Exhibition at the Gallery of Art in Kansas City in 1962.

Girard pillows - an affordable way to get a legendary designer's accents into your home.

Designer dolls - Girard remarked that "toys represent a microcosm of man’s world and dreams; they exhibit fantasy, imagination, humour and love."

Many Girard designs were well suited for natural textures.

Check out this Girard inspired nativity scene - can they make one lawn size?