Jacob Henri Berend
Dutch, 1897 - 1984
De Stijl 1917-31, 1950
H. 19-1/2 x W. 27-1/2 in.
Inspired by the work of Piet Zwart and Hendrik Werkman, Willem Sandberg was a practitioner of Die Neue Typographie. He was appointed curator of modern art at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1937–1941), and subsequently director (1945–1962). There he personally designed over 300 catalogues and numerous posters, including this work.
With his inspirational personality and his exceptional position as museum director and designer, Sandberg contributed greatly to Dutch graphic design after the war. He regarded "his" Stedelijk Museum as a means of breaking through the Netherlands’ cultural isolation and raising the issue of the social role of the arts. He introduced the public to art events abroad and to radical developments in the recent art of their own country. This agenda carried the Museum to the center of the international art world. This poster was designed for a De Stijl exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum in 1950. Typical of Sandberg’s work, it is characterized by asymmetrical layouts and contrasts of color, texture, and typographic scale. He preferred coarse, open-grained paper, large woodblock type, and roughly torn letterforms, the latter often juxtaposed with crisp uniform type.