Design Knowledge Intermediary
Postmodernist Dan Friedman helped change how the world viewed graphic design
The Chicago Design Museum’s current exhibition brings the ’80s and early ’90s back through the work of postmodernist graphic and furniture designer Dan Friedman. The show, Dan Friedman: Radical Modernist, was originally curated by the artist himself prior to his death in 1995. Continuing his brother’s legacy, Ken Friedman leads the exhibition with curatorial assistance from Chris and Esther Pullman, Mara Holt Skov, and Steven Skov Holt. Friedman, who posthumously won the 2015 AIGA Medal, was instrumental in shifting the world’s perspective of graphic design from a mostly commercial endeavor to a visual art form. The show includes a wide range of his work, from furniture and experimental sculptural installations to found art and his signature new wave typography. Coining the term “radical modernism,” Friedman helped define an era and style that included contemporaries like Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Jeff Koons. This very personal exhibition looks back into a time that can only be described as radical.
Dan Friedman: Radical Modernism
Chicago Design Museum
108 North State Street
Through August 12