Power of One

Artist: Dimitris Arvanitis

Liz Patterson at Shift Gallery through January 26, 2019

Peggy Murphy

Posters are refreshingly egalitarian. They can’t carry the rarified baggage of the singular art object and they don’t obscure their message. Posters get to the point. When done by top notch designers, posters are as thought provoking and visually interesting as any fine art. In Going on 70, Liz Patterson curates a selection of such posters and also introduces us to the wonderful online gallery www.postersfortomorrow.org which   encourages people around the globe to make posters on a variety of topics that affect us all.  Patterson chose a selection from the organization’s solicitation of 100 designers on the topic of human rights. The universal declaration of human rights drafted 70 years ago list 30 articles that define what human rights include.  The posters reflect these different concepts using an assortment of styles and techniques while delivering their message in bold and ingenious ways.

One poster by the American designer Milton Glaser struck me as particularly potent for this moment in America. The image featured a fractured numeral one with an overlay of tape(?) connecting the fragmented pieces.   I was momentarily bemused, interpreting the numeral one in different ways.  Was this the one of rank, as in we are number one, or the one of unity?  Clearly the latter reading is more to the intended point, but the duality (if only in the eyes of this media obsessed American) of the message demonstrated how clever and provocative these posters are.

Check out www.postersfortomorrow.org to view more fabulous posters and learn how you can submit a poster.