Norman Ives (United States, 1923-1978)

PC-1   1974
image 61 x 61 frame 81 x 79.5
UTS Art Collection


American artist and designer Norman Ives was one of the first students in Graphic Design at Yale School of Art, studying under Josef Albers and Herbert Matter. After graduation in 1952 he became a member of the faculty, and a Professor in 1972. He was also visiting Professor at Rhode Island School of Design. In his design career, he worked with Matter on a number of design projects including the iconic New Haven railroad logo.

In the late 1950s, in partnership with Yale colleague Sewell Sillman, Ives established the publishing firm Ives-Sillman, specialising in high-quality screenprints for the art market. Their art publishing filled a need in the market, offering far higher quality reproductions than the available colour lithography techniques of the day. They printed a many important screenprints and portfolios for Josef and Anni Albers, and other artists such as Ad Reinhardt, Dieter Rot, Piet Mondrian, Jean Debuffet, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, and Walker Evans. The Interaction of Colour portfolio from 1963 was one of their earliest printing projects.

PC-1 is a good example of Norman Ives’s personal practice, that reflects a cross-over of ideas from his work as a designer, printer and lecturer in graphic arts. His paintings, prints and sculptures use letterforms as design elements, fragmented, rotated and reconstructed as abstract compositions. He exhibited his work at the Sidney Janis and Stable Galleries in New York, and in museum exhibits including the Whitney Museum annual painting show in 1967. In the same year, Ives exhibited at MOMA in its Three Designers exhibition.


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