The exhibition can be seen in the Netherlands for the first time from April 23 and can be visited until June 18 at the Grote Kerk Breda.
A closer look at visual language
In Palace of Typographic Masonry, designer Richard Niessen collects graphic objects. Not just because they are beautiful, but because they are characteristic of the way graphic designers shape visual communication. From signs to ornaments, from methods and techniques to the history and practice of the craft.
“Fearing the disappearance of graphic culture, I created an imaginary Palace of Typographic Masonry. With it, I want to record all forms of visual communication through the ages. From the use of symbols to the invention of writing. One of my five goals is to show a rich and diverse landscape of voices and manuscripts.” – Richard Niessen
Since 2015, Richard has been working on “Palace of Typographic Masonry,” originally an imaginary museum. To make the collection accessible to everyone, he and Graphic Matters developed a mobile exhibition system and an audio guide through which he provides a personal commentary.
The pop-up museum consists of work by Dutch designers as Karel Martens, Hansje van Halem, Wim Crouwel, Harmen Liemburg, Experimental Jetset, Thonik, Moniker and Irma Boom. The designers Ott Metusala (EE), Farah Fayyed (LB), William Jacobson (SE), Edgar Walthert (CH), Benjamin McMillan (UK) and Åbäke (UK) are invited to create new work.
Grote Kerk Breda as Palace of Typographic Masonry
The exhibition is presented by Graphic Matters in collaboration with the Grote Kerk Breda. We found each other at the interface of visual language, development, heritage and storytelling. Both the Grote Kerk Breda and Palace of Typographic Masonry seek the connection between past and present. The Grote Kerk Breda is pre-eminently an example of a spatial visual story; a building filled with signs and symbols that are over 700 years old and still resonate in our current visual communication.
The exhibition has been expanded especially for this occasion and location with an interactive element; a place where designs are dissected and analyzed and visitors explore the relationship between the exhibition, the Grote Kerk Breda and their own environment. This experience contributes to a better understanding of all the signs and symbols that come our way in our daily lives and are literally everywhere. It makes visitors aware of the richness and diversity of visual language.
Palace of Typographic Masonry
A closer look at visual language
April 23-June 18
Grote Kerk Breda
About Richard Niessen
Graphic designer Richard Niessen (b. 1972) is known for his colorful posters and expressive typography, innovative identities and collaborations with other artists. In 2007 he presented his retrospective ‘TM-City’ at the leading festival of Chaumont. Niessen teaches at the KABK in The Hague and regularly conducts workshops and lectures for students and designers around the world. His work has been shown in various museums. In 2015, he started “The Palace of Typographic Masonry. An experimental research project that connects graphic design with other disciplines and places the profession in a broader cultural history.
About Graphic Matters
Graphic Matters makes visible the work of visually idiosyncratic, socially engaged and/or socially critical designers. Through experienceable programming, peers and young people are encouraged to take a critical look at visual culture together. Presentations in a public context create space for dialogue. In addition, they are given the opportunity to discover and develop knowledge and skills.
About Grote Kerk Breda
Anyone visiting the Grote Kerk Breda enters a building with a rich interior bursting with layered and polyphonic stories. Stories from the past that are also significant today or have acquired new meaning and that influence (the story of) the future. For a number of years now, the church has been presenting a diverse and contemporary program that takes the history and context of the church as a benchmark while at the same time connecting to current events.
Palace of Typographic Masonry is presented by Graphic Matters in collaboration with Richard Niessen and the Grote Kerk Breda.
Made possible by the City of Breda, Kunstloc Brabant and Pictoright Fund.