New Work: ‘The Surreal House’
Angus Hyland was commissioned by Jane Alison, Senior Curator at the Barbican Art Gallery, to design the graphic identity for The Surreal House, the blockbuster exhibition on view at the Barbican through 12 September. The show examines the relationship between Surrealism and architecture and features work from artists like Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Man Ray and Joseph Cornell alongside contemporary figures like Rebecca Horn, Rachel Whiteread, Rem Koolhaas and Louise Bourgeois, mounted in an atmospheric, house-like series of rooms. Hyland was delighted to accept this commission as it allowed him to explore a longstanding interest in Surrealism.
The identity extends over exhibition graphics, the catalogue, merchandise and publicity materials.
In answer to the brief, Hyland and his team created a series of entertaining typographic illustrations that are used to identify areas of the exhibition as well as to demarcate chapters or ‘maisons’ in the catalogue. These include ‘Haunted House,’ ‘Mother,’ ‘Panic Space,’ ‘Theatre of the Domestic’ and ‘A Home for Birds.’ The catalogue cover features an ‘impossible house’, an icon derived from Penrose’s Impossible Triangle.
The structure of the catalogue echoes the exhibition design, which reconfigures the Barbican Art Gallery into a series of separate ‘houses’.