Massin + Sister Corita,

In the 1960s the modern canon began to be questioned. Social unrest and countercultural movements found their way into graphic design. A new aesthetic far removed from the Swiss grid gave way to playful typographical compositions that connected with the “words in freedom” of the artistic avant-gardes of the early 20th century, especially Futurism and Dadaism. Robert Massin in France and Corita Kent in the USA mastered the use of the printed word in their creations.

Modernism and Postmodernism are the driving forces that have shaped 20th century architecture, art and design.

The Modern Movement began at the end of the 19th century, ran vigorously through the century and began to be questioned at the beginning of the 1960s, before finally fading away in the 1990s with the advent of the Internet and the paradigm shift it brought with it.

The book has been the medium and the message of the diverse movements in the arts during the last century. The book, with its emphatic material presence, takes on a special value now that we are witnessing its dematerialization, reduced to digital data in electronic format.

Over the Bookworm sessions we will explore several iconic books that capture the spirit of the era in which they were designed. We will place the books in their context and try to define what makes them relevant in the history of 20th century book design. The Bookworm sessions are guided by Andreu Jansà, librarian and curator of the Enric Bricall Reserve Fund. The books that make up the collection are documented in the main accounts of the history of 20th century graphic design.

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