Summer 1993

Lift and Separate

Lift and Separate: graphic design and the quote unquote vernacular

Curated by Barbara Glauber<br> Herb Lubalin Study Center, 27 January-27 February, 1993<br>

Before she left her position as curator of the Herb Lubalin Study Center, New York, last year, Ellen Lupton initiated an exhibition on the vernacular. Designers tend to romanticise the naivety of the vernacular, or to patronise it as ‘low’ culture to be plundered at will. Lupton’s aim was to explore it non-judgementally as a form of ‘dialect’ spoken by a particular subculture, in much the same way that high culture, too, has its own language. The resulting exhibition, ‘Lift and Separate: graphic design and the quote unquote vernacular’ – curated by Barbara Glauber – was mounted earlier this year, and as with previous theme shows at the centre it leaves behind a highly original catalogue. The authors undertook the design of their own essays, which makes for an at times jarring but multifaceted analysis.

First published in Eye no. 9 vol. 3, 1993

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