Graphic design for 6 to 99 year olds

The UQAM Design Center presents an exhibition by Berlin poster artist and illustrator Henning Wagenbreth

February 12, 2022

A UFO landed in Montreal, depositing its cargo of very unusual graphic objects at the UQAM design center. The spaceship commander is the Berlin poster artist and illustrator Henning Wagenbreth. His universe is made up of comic book characters that give almost all of his works a cartoonish human presence, robots, rockets and hellish machines.

Kosmostage, silkscreen 2021

Wagenbreth deploys his talent as a graphic designer in all directions: illustrations, posters, books, stamps, record covers, games, costumes and theater sets, puppets. His colorful, abundant, deconstructed works may seem naive, but they are perfectly thought out and masterful. Easily identifiable, they made their creator known internationally.

Raised in East Germany, Wagenbreth was involved in some anti-regime activities until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Since then, his critical view of society has been embodied in images intended to make us think. His social and political commentary is usually peppered with a bit of sarcastic humor and insightful satire.

His playful approach to graphic design first attracts his clients and then, on second glance, leads them to reflect on serious, even dark matters. In the end, the idea is not to please but to convey a message. “The readability of my idea is important,” he says with a small smile. “I take people with an interesting image, then they look at the rest.” Obviously, for Wagenbreth, everything is worth laughing at and he certainly knows how to get us going.

Wagenbreth deploys his talent as a graphic designer in all directions: illustrations, posters, books, stamps, record covers, games, costumes and theater sets, puppets.

The exhibition, from February 24 to April 10, 2022p

In addition to the very large screen-printed posters typical of Wagenbreth’s work, the exhibition brings together creations of different formats produced using a variety of printing techniques. They invite visitors to discover the work of Wagenbreth, juggler of ideas and illustrations, whose graphic style evokes Art Brut.

Behindertensport Für den Sport, 145, 2015 Stamps from the annual sports series, created by Wagenbreth for parasports

Behindertensport Für den Sport, 90, 2015 – Stamps of the annual sports series

The illustrations are made up of cut-out pieces, almost like geometric puzzles, to which is added the composite typography that Wagenbreth designs himself. All are arranged in a visual cacophony that may draw inspiration from the exquisite corpse technique of the Surrealists. While having fun, Wagenbreth leads us irresistibly into his universe, a universe of visual poetry and sensitive children, sometimes hurt by the state of society.

BeUQAM - Henning-WagenbrethBehindertensport Für den Sport, 90, 2015 – Stamps from the annual sports series, created by Wagenbreth for para sportshindertensport Für den Sport, 90, 2015 – Stamps from the annual sports series, created by Henning – Stamps from the annual sports series, created by Wagenbreth for parasports

Behindertensport Für den Sport, 90, 2015 – Stamps of the annual sports series

Biography

Henning-Wagenbreth – UQAM – Dutch Animated Film Festival, 2014 - 4 color direct tone silkscreen poster • Holland Animation Film Festival, 2014 - 4 color direct tone silkscreen poster

Holland Animation Film Festival, 2014 – Silkscreen

Henning Wagenbreth was born in 1962 in Eberswalde, East Germany, and studied at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee from 1982 to 1987. Since then he has worked mainly as an illustrator. He creates graphics and his own typefaces, and he includes artisanal and industrial techniques in his creative process. He lives in Berlin but has spent time in Paris and San Francisco. He illustrates and creates graphic designs for all formats, from stamps and banners, to unique paintings, series of prints, books, posters, newspapers and magazines.

Sometimes he wanders into animation and theatre. With the group The Mazookas, he combines visual discourse with projections and music. Since 1994 he has been teaching visual communication at the Universität der Künste Berlin. He received the “most beautiful book in the world” award from the Stiftung Buchkunst in 2000 and many others for his posters and books. He has had exhibitions all over the world and has been a member of AGI since 2002.

Takeoff of the Andromeda Orchestra Mega Express!, Alien Transistor, 2009

Marc H. Choko is professor emeritus at the School of Design of the University of Quebec in Montreal, where he taught from 1977 to 2018. He was director of research at the National Institute for Scientific Research (INRS) Urbanization, culture and society from 1985 to 2005 and director of the Design Center from 1999 to 2008. Choko has been passionate about posters and has been collecting them since his youth. Since the early 1980s, he has organized exhibitions, including several as a curator, and published numerous well-known works on poster art. From 2008 to 2018, he was a lecturer in graphic design and culture at the UQAM School of Design. He now devotes his professional life to the publication of books, the production of exhibitions and conferences on graphic design and the art of the poster.

Henning Wagenbreth – Graphic design for all ages

UQAM design center
1440 Sanguinet Street, Montreal
Metro Berri-UQAM

February 24 to April 10, 2022
Open to the general public: February 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Free entry

Information
514 987-3395
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the UQAM design center is a unique place in Canada that presents exhibitions and free events that illustrate historical and current trends in the fields of design, architecture and fashion. design.uqam.ca

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Clifton L. Boyd