Norman Ives: Constructions & Reconstructions
By John T. Hill
An in-depth chronicle of the spirit and genius of master fine artist and renowned graphic designer Norman Ives.
This first comprehensive account of Ives, a mid-twentieth-century master, covers the multi-faceted career of a fine artist, graphic designer, teacher, and publisher. It reflects Ives’s timeless relevance in the visual arts.
The book—itself a work of art—introduces unseen treasures showcasing the brilliant variety and vitality of his work. It fully defines Ives’s signature use of letterform fragments. These became the lyrical strokes of his abstract constructions and reconstructions.
Ives’s design and art anticipates the percolating type-as-art movement popularized by Robert Indiana’s LOVE sculptures. Type-related art has since become ubiquitous in painting and sculpture, as well as other massive architectural “type works.” Ives’s work fits squarely into this genre having roots in the early 20th-century Modern movement.
Ives was part of Josef Albers’ restructured Yale School of Art which transformed the traditional teaching of graphic design, leading it towards a more demanding and thoughtful profession. Recognized for his innovative work in graphic design, Ives was also an artist whose vision extended well beyond the discipline, with paintings and collages collected by major museums including the Guggenheim Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery.
Norman Ives summed it up best when he wrote: “Vision is the most universal of languages; seeing is more convincing that reading. It is up to the designer to interpret our culture in a way that is universally understood through the eye.“
Published by powerHouse Books, 2020
Hardcover, 312 pages, full color, 10.25 × 10.75 inches