Denver Art Museum Celebrates AIGA Centennial with Exhibition of Social and Political Posters

The Denver Art Museum (DAM) will present an installation of some 35 contemporary posters in the exhibition Drawn to Action: Posters from the AIGA Design Archives December 15, 2013—January 18, 2015. Culled from the AIGA Design Archives at the DAM—a collection of over 10,000 objects that represent one of the largest and finest holdings of contemporary American communication design from approximately 1980 to the present—Drawn to Action invites visitors to discover how design can be an extraordinary tool for change and to consider their own opinions on a broad range of issues.

James Victore, Racism, 1993. Screen print. © James Victore. AIGA Design Archives: Gift of AIGA. 2007.2528.2.
“Throughout its history the poster has proved to be a remarkably resilient medium, adapting itself to a variety of uses,” said Darrin Alfred, associate curator of architecture, design and graphics at the DAM.Initially a device for commercial advertising, the poster has become synonymous with the freedom of expression. It is an extraordinary medium for social and political influence: a method for giving voice.”

Sociopolitical themes, such as racism, the environment, literacy, peace and equality are just a few of the subjects that designers tackle in these provocative posters. Works by Ivan Chermayeff, Seymour Chwast, Luba Lukova, Woody Pirtle and James Victore, among others are featured in the exhibition. Whether with straightforward solemnity or a touch of humor, the works showcased within Drawn to Action demonstrate the inventive ways in which design can provoke action.

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