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Jan Rajlich Jr.: Invisible Borders

An exhibition of the latest poster art by the significant Czech graphic designer on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CSR. 

Accompanying Event Trnava Poster Triennial 2018.

Exhibition Title:
Jan Rajlich Jr.: Invisible Borders
Venue: The City Tower, Trojičné námestie 1, 917 01 Trnava 
Curator: Filip Krutek
Duration: September 13 (Thu) – November 25 (Sun), 2018

 

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This solo exhibition of Jan Rajlich’s poster works organised on the 100th anniversary of the CSR is not a tribute to the harmonious coexistence of the Czech and Slovak nations, a critical analysis of their relationship, or a sentimental look-back to the previous decades. It is the other way round; the posters saturate this national topic in a rather subtle way, and it is up to the recipients to define the way the topic is reflected in the posters.

The posters in the exhibition have been created over the past five years and were designed for various occasions – cultural, social, or for no specific theme. The name of the exhibition – Invisible Borders – points to, on one hand, the negation of strict mental or physical boundaries between Czechs and Slovaks, and on the other, it is significant from the point of the formal appearance of the exhibited posters. Jan Rajlich managed to create a specific and recognizable handwriting which is not brought into equilibrium using graphic software. On the contrary, the formation of the resulting design is preceded by gesticulations and expressive strokes, it means, as a result, the presence of real mechanical work that defines the overall composition of the posters. In addition to small sketches and drawings that often appear and disappear over the surface area of a poster depending on how and from what distance it is perceived by a viewer, it mainly consists of work with written text. In the case of the exhibited works, the typography is not accidental, standardized, and by no means does it stands out in a self-important manner. Through the text, the author builds the specific spatial rhythms of the poster's surface with attributes very close to a description of an architectonic space - cyclicality, growth from the inside out, or the causality of the forms.

This is one of the reasons why they often have a fractal nature - a fragmented geometric figure composed of parts with shapes that are partially or fully identical to the overall shape of the final formation. However, the borders between the partial parts of the poster still remain very difficult to grasp, i.e. they are invisible.

Therefore, the exhibition shows a method of graphic design that does not succumb to the recent prevailing tendency for an explicit discourse through posters based on an express, in some cases literally instant, presentation of information which reflects the current (not only visual) culture. It refuses to yield to the over-saturation of visual smog; for this reason, the author incorporates the texts which make one stop and devote some of their “precious” time in his posters.


Jan Rajlich Jr. (born 1950) was a pedagogue of graphic design (1983–1989) at SUPŠ (High School of Industrial Art) in Brno. Since 1988, he has been teaching the subject at Brno University of Technology. Jan Rajlich was President of the International Biennale of Graphic Design in Brno (1993-1998) and has been a member of international juries in many exhibitions all over the world. He has had about 30 solo exhibitions of his graphic designs, posters, computer graphics, screen printing and painting, and has taken part in more than 250 exhibitions as a co-author. His name is included in the Who’s Who of Graphic Design (Zurich, 1992), and his thoughts have been published in many texts on graphic design. He is a member of the Union of Visual Artists of the Czech Republic, Q Artistic Association, Brno Biennale Association ( as a Chairperson since 1999), a honorary member of the Masaryk Academy of Arts in Prague and the International Society of Graphic Designers (ISGD) in the USA. Between 1996 and 2014, he worked as the Head of Department for Industrial Design at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at Brno University of Technology.

Filip Krutek
 



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