The Way Beyond Art: Wide White Space

January 20, 2011 to February 05, 2011

The Way Beyond Art: Wide White Space will investigate graphic design's evolving relationship with the practice of exhibition making as it intersects with the visual arts and the work of both artists and curators. This exhibition is realized in collaboration with CCA's undergraduate Graphic Design Program, the Graduate Program in Design, and Jon Sueda. Sueda is a Graphic Design professor at CCA and founder of the San Francisco design practice Stripe. Wide White Space is the second installment in The Way Beyond Art, a series of exhibitions at the Wattis that closely integrates the institute's programs with CCA's non-fine arts faculty and curricula.

Historically, galleries and museums have been fertile arenas for graphic designers to practice, whether via printed promotional materials, exhibition catalogs, signage, interactive media, or exhibition design. Wide White Space will focus in particular on graphic designers who create innovative institutional identities, forge unique collaborations with curators, and launch their own exhibition-based initiatives.

Wide White Space will also look at how designers can extend the parameters of their practice: by consciously operating within the broader context of the art world, by taking a transdisciplinary approach, by considering physical interaction within an art gallery, and by exploring time and three-dimensional space. The featured graphic designers are contemporary and historic, American and international. They have been selected because they consciously construct a narrative around their work, position themselves as authors of autonomous creative projects, and maintain a conceptually rigorous, research-based, historically fortified approach.

The installation and exhibition design for Wide White Space aim to take on the challenges inherent in presenting any show on graphic design: how to make it possible for visitors to directly engage with the materials on display; how to gather and present a breadth of historical and contemporary pieces, which take the form of both original physical objects and restaged exhibition projects; and how to speak to both peers within the design community and a broader audience.

Wider White Space is an adjunct program of conversations with Bob Aufuldish, Rachel Berger, Eric Heiman, Wendy Ju, MacFadden & Thorpe, Emily McVarish, Michael Vanderbyl, and Martin Venezky as well as a rotating series of student-curated exhibitions. Visit for the schedule.

The title Wide White Space refers to the name of a radical art space in Antwerp that, though it existed for only a decade, came to define contemporary art in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This exhibition likewise aims to investigate the possibilities for how empty space, whether the white cube or the blank page, can be transformed into something more complex. The name of the larger program, The Way Beyond Art, refers to the title of a book written by the visionary German art historian Alexander Dorner, who advocated in the early 20th century for a closer dialogue among different artistic disciplines. He is best known for his collaboration with the Constructivist artist El Lissitzky on the Abstract Cabinet (1927) at the Landesmuseum Hannover, Germany, a unique, specially constructed space that explored a new form of multidisciplinarity produced by juxtaposing art, fashion, design, film, and literature.

Featured Designers
APFEL, Irma Boom, Laurenz Brunner and Julia Born, Sara De Bondt, Mevis and Van Deursen, Dexter Sinister, Indexhibit, Experimental Jetset, Will Holder, Zak Kyes, James Langdon, LUST, Niessen & de Vries, Practise, Project Projects, Yann Sérandour and Jérôme Saint-Loubert Bié, Stedelijk Museum, Sulki and Min, Mylinh Trieu Nguyen, Hansje van Halem, Walker Art Center