HfG Archiv Ulm
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Exhibitions BannerOtl Aicher 100
March 26, 2022—January 8, 2023

Otl Aicher 100

Posters are created for the street and develop their effect in public space. With the designation “gallery of the street”, the 19th century understood the poster primarily as an artistic medium. In the 20th century, it became the preferred instrument for product advertising and political propaganda.  Throughout his life, posters also served Otl Aicher (13 May 1922 in Ulm to 1 September 1991 in Günzburg) as a preferred means of transport for advertising and social commentary. On the occasion of his 100th birthday, the HfG-Archiv is presenting an exhibition that surveys his entire oeuvre in 100 posters. By concentrating on this one visual medium, many of the themes that were important to Otl Aicher throughout his life can be brought to the fore. He thus becomes visible and tangible as a formally convincing and politically arguing designer.

Born in Ulm in 1922, Otl Aicher received the prize for the Best German Poster as early as 1955. During these years, he made a name for himself with the abstracting posters for the Ulm Adult Education Centre (vh ulm), which consolidated his international reputation as a graphic designer. The medium of the poster runs through Otl Aicher’s entire oeuvre like a red thread. He chose it for the most diverse purposes and occasions, clients and customers. He always succeeded in a concise thematic and visual realisation. He created sports posters for the image of the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, advertising posters for Münchner Rück, for companies such as Bulthaup, Erco or FSB and, last but not least, posters on political themes, for example for the European election campaign of the SPD in 1979 or against the stationing of Pershing missiles in the 1980s.

With Otl Aicher’s estate, the HfG-Archiv possesses the central document and archival records of his extensive work as a communication designer. The exhibition presents only posters to allow a deep insight into Otl Aicher’s work and thematic world.

Funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation)

Funded by the Beauftragte der Bundesregierung Kultur und Medien (Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and Media)


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