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Last Folio Book: A Photographic Memory

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In 2006, serendipity led two former political exiles, photographer Yuri Dojc and documentary producer Katya Krausova, to an abandoned Jewish school in their homeland, Slovakia. Abandoned since 1942, when all its students had been deported to concentration camps, Dojc photographed the building and disintegrating school books within it. These photographs were the beginning of Last Folio, an international travelling exhibition and documentary film.

In commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, Dojc and Krausova have released a book, Last Folio: A photographic Memory, that documents their exploration into Slovakia’s pre-war Jewish culture.

Auf einer Reise durch ihr Heimatland Slowakei entdeckten Fotograf Yuri Dojc und die Filmemacherin Katya Krausova eher zufällig ein verlassenes, halb verfallenes jüdisches Schulhaus. Als wäre die Zeit stillgestanden seit jenem Tag im Jahr 1942 – als sämtliche Schüler und Lehrer dieser Schule von den Nazis in ein Konzentrationslager deportiert wurden – befanden sich darin noch alle Schulbücher, so, wie sie zurückgelassen worden waren.

Dojc fotografierte das verfallene Gebäude und die darin zurückgebliebenen Schulbücher. Da für Dojc die Bücher allesamt Überlebende einer schrecklichen Zeit waren, versuchte er, sie mit seinen Fotos auch so zu portraitieren. Diese Fotografien waren der Anfang von Last Folio, einer internationalen Wanderausstellung und einem Dokumentarfilm.

Im Gedenken an den 70. Jahrestag des Endes des zweiten Weltkrieges haben Dojc und Krausova nun ein Buch veröffentlicht: Last Folio – ein fotografisches Gedächtnis, das ihre Reise in die jüdisch-slowakische Vorkriegskultur dokumentiert.

New Work: ‘The Great Minds of Investing’

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The first time Michael O’Brien photographed Warren Buffett (for Esquire) in 1988 it changed his life. From that moment on the photographer became a devoted student of value investing, Buffett’s company Berkshire Hathaway, and a super fan of the “Oracle of Omaha.” He even named his dog Buffett. Now O’Brien’s portraits and William Green’s profiles of the top investors in the world have been published in The Great Minds of Investing, a new book designed and produced by partner DJ Stout and designer Barrett Fry in Pentagram’s Austin office.

The Great Minds of Investing, one of the first books of its kind, was the brainchild of Hendrik Leber, who is the founder and managing partner in ACATIS Investment, a German asset management firm based in Frankfurt. Leber found a co-conspirator in O’Brien and commissioned the value investment enthusiast to photograph 33 of the preeminent investors of our time. O’Brien traveled all over the U.S. and Europe to capture his elusive subjects on film. His large-format, black-and-white portraits, formal and dignified, show the confident demeanor of the profession—and a lot of nice suits.

Pentagram Papers 44: Hear, All Ye People; Hearken, O Earth

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Do typefaces matter? In July 2012, the filmmaker and author Errol Morris published a short and rather enigmatic quiz on the website of The New York Times. Without really understanding its purpose, over 45,000 people responded to the quiz, which purported to address the question “Are You an Optimist or a Pessimist?” Morris’s real goal, however, was to determine whether the choice of typeface had any effect on a message’s believability. His answer: It does.

This experiment is the focus of Pentagram Papers 44: Hear, All Ye People: Hearken, O Earth. Designed by Pentagram’s Michael Bierut and Jessica Svendsen, the book republishes the two-part Times essay in which Morris revealed the results of his test, and is set almost entirely in the typeface that he determined to be most trustworthy: Baskerville.

New Work: ‘Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modern Art’

A true power couple and two of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera helped develop Mexican modernism, a movement that combined social realism and surrealistic imagery in paintings and murals that shaped Mexico’s cultural heritage. Over fifty years after their deaths, the pair continue to fascinate, and Frida is currently having a moment as the subject of several books and exhibitions. Pentagram’s Eddie Opara and his team have designed the catalogue for Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Mexican Modern Art, a new exhibition currently on view at the Nova Southeastern University Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale that explores these famous figures and the other artists who defined the movement.

New Work: ‘China: Through the Looking Glass’

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Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed the catalogue for China: Through the Looking Glass, the blockbuster exhibition currently on view at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Organized by Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute, the show explores the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion, and how China has inspired artists and designers for centuries. The exhibition launched with the annual Met Gala on May 4 and remains on view through August 16.

China: Through the Looking Glass is one of the largest exhibitions ever mounted by the Metropolitan Museum and features more than 100 examples of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear by designers including Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood. These are juxtaposed with Chinese costumes, paintings, porcelains, and other artworks, including films, which are highlighted for their importance in influencing fashion. (The celebrated filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai served as the exhibition’s artistic director.)

New Work: ‘Safdie’

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For five decades, the pioneering architect Moshe Safdie has designed iconic buildings and public spaces that have contributed in meaningful ways to their settings while catalyzing a vibrant public life. Pentagram’s Michael Gericke and his team have designed Safdie (Images Publishing), a definitive 50 year monograph that traces the evolution of the prolific architect, urban planner, educator, theorist and author. Safdie was awarded the 2015 AIA Gold Medal in recognition of his lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture.

Safdie presents a complete chronology of Safdie’s planning and design work since the inception of his practice, ranging from his groundbreaking modular design for Habitat ’67 in Montreal to his current commissions around the world. Organized to follow the architect’s career and design explorations, the book is richly illustrated with architectural imagery, design drawings and essays by noted critics and writers.

New Work: ‘OfficeUS Atlas’

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OfficeUS, the U.S. Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, was conceived as a working architecture office that explored the ways in which U.S. architectural practice has influenced the discipline around the world over the past 100 years. Pentagram’s Natasha Jen and her team have designed OfficeUS Atlas, a new book that compiles and interprets the research assembled in the exhibition’s OfficeUS Repository, an archive of nearly 1,000 projects produced by U.S. offices abroad between 1914-2014. The publication is the second in the four-volume OfficeUS book series, following OfficeUS Agenda, also designed by Jen and published last year.

A massive, 1,232-page compendium, Atlas is structured around a highly organized mix of firm profiles, project data, press records, and infographics that detail the transformations of the U.S. architectural office and its international impact over the past century. The book design builds on the graphic identity Jen developed for the OfficeUS installation, which utilized a visual language built out of the efficiencies of office culture.

OfficeUS Atlas is published in partnership by Lars Müller Publishers and Storefront for Art and Architecture, the lead organizer of OfficeUS. The book will be launched at a panel discussion to be held on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 pm at Storefront for Art and Architecture, 97 Kenmare Street in New York City.