Opening reception this Thursday at University Art Museum

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Please join us on Thursday, February 12, 5:00-7:00, for a reception opening “Face to Ground: Mirko Ilić” at the Binghamton University Art Museum!

Face to Ground: Mirko Ilić

Comics / Illustrations / Graphic Design / Multimedia

February 12—March 14, 2015

In its continued efforts to enrich art and design education at Binghamton University, as well as to offer intellectually and aesthetically stimulating exhibitions that are free and open to the public, the Binghamton University Art Museum has organized an exhibition of designs by the esteemed illustrator, designer and multimedia artist, Mirko Ilić. Curated by Assistant Professor of Art and Design, Blazo Kovacevic, this is the first exhibition of its kind at the museum. The opening reception on Thursday, February 12, 5:00-7:00 pm, will feature a gallery talk by the artist.

Mirko Ilić is well known for his direct approach. He takes risks in a commercial environment that is too often marked by conservative decisions and designs. Visitors may not recognize his name, but his work will be familiar to readers of the New York Times, Time Magazine, and other prominent publications. He is particularly well known for his figurative typography – the words and columns on the New York Times Op-Ed pages that take the form of the subject of the editorial. His very popular illustrations condense complex political and historical issues into images that convey subtle and even multiple meanings. And his Time Magazine covers are praised for being both graphically bold and insightful.

Ilić’s productive and award-winning career started in Bosnia in the 1970s with comics. He then moved to illustration, then graphic design and multimedia. In each of these areas he was innovative, using multidisciplinary approaches to material, which drew on his mastery of earlier media. When asked about his work, he stresses the importance of thinking analytically and properly developing concepts before moving to tools and executions – an approach that contrasts with many of today’s designers whose work begins and ends with technology. Even his new work originates on paper. Famed graphic designer Milton Glaser has said about Mirko Ilić: “He is a designer that draws and an illustrator that thinks.”

At first glance, Ilić’s designs may appear rather blunt, but further reflection reveals meanings that are sometimes contradictory. His final products are thus visually and conceptually complex. His keen eye, careful observation, and knowledge of social and political phenomena have made him a very successful artist in the fields of illustration and graphic design. Ilić is also rebellious and brave. He rejects widely imposed rules and finds novel and sophisticated ways to communicate his ideas…or, as he confesses, fails by trying. But he has succeeded, not only in his profession, but also as an educator, an author of several acclaimed books, the subject of numerous exhibitions, and a lecturer. These qualities make him exceptionally valuable to young and aspiring graphic designers. A common message in his lectures is “how to sell the body of your work, without selling your soul.” Known as a designer who fires his clients, Ilić fiercely fights for his convictions and ideas.

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