UMass Dartmouth exhibit showcases work by Ives

Sep 2, 2021

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) at UMass Dartmouth will present “Norman Ives: Constructions & Reconstructions,’’ in the CVPA Campus Gallery from Sept. 7 through Oct. 23.

This major exhibition of Ives's work as artist and designer showcases some early works that will be on display for the first time.

 The exhibition contains Ives’s abstract typographic art, innovative posters and brochures, and elegant symbol designs that have inspired generations of designers and artists. 

A reception for the exhibition will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 23. All attendees must wear a mask when inside any UMass Dartmouth building. 

In 1967, Ives’s eight-foot square painting, “Number 3-L,’’ was selected for the 1967 Whitney Annual Exhibition of American Artists. That same year, the Museum of Modern Art mounted an exhibition titled “3 graphic designers’’ featuring the work of Norman Ives, Massimo Vignelli and Almir Mavignier.

The exhibition is curated by John T. Hill, author, designer, and a former student and faculty colleague of Ives. 

Jan Fairbairn, who teaches graphic design and typography at UMass Dartmouth, initiated the exhibition after experiencing Ives’s work while studying graphic design at Yale School of Art where she first met John Hill.

“Bringing Ives’s work to UMass Dartmouth is like importing Ives’s genius and sensibilities, “Fairbairn said. “He is recognized as an important early twentieth-century modernist. My students and everyone on campus will have the opportunity to absorb this artwork up close, and learn from Ives’s sophisticated abstract compositions.’’