November 15, 2018 08:55 AM
Updated on 15 November, 2018 08:58 AM
John Lang liked to work. During his life he designed hundreds of covers, books, periodicals, catalogs, posters and logos and was the artistic director of important publications such as National Culture Magazine, The weekly Image And the magazine M.
One feature marked his work: aesthetics.
This was summed up by the journalist and poet Mayo Westerini in 1973: "The graphic design of John Lang offers, along with the work of Leufert and Nedo, a third possibility: it is no longer a question of seeking the most effective sign, And not to force the planning toward the thermal, which continues to point to a specific image, as Nado does, but to conduct the struggle for graphic design in the field of aesthetics. "
The designer, born April 1931 in Caracas, died on Tuesday at the age of 87, after fighting against pulmonary emphysema that affected him.
He had copies in his hands Colonial art of Venezuela, By Carlos Duarte; The work of Armando Ravon, By Alfredo Bolton; So with your hands, By Barbara Brandley, and Collective bills, By Richard Rosenman.
Art critic Martha Trava wrote about her aesthetic perception: "Lang has no master's vision for graphic design, but on the contrary, he has a graphic vision that can not be changed, that tries to be aesthetic … It goes from side to side, But it has moved with all the baggage of a graphic designer: that is, it does not lose the need of the function, nor the value of the synthesis, nor the duty to stimulate what you want to be marked by analogies or by contrasts. Specific design of the graphic designer. "
Pedro Quintero, who for several years was his assistant, remembers the book Nervous System, By Barbara Brandley and playwright Yitzhak Cron. "This publication is a reference in the field of photobook, especially in Latin America." Perhaps this is one of the most important things made, "he says.
In addition, he prepared posters for the theater, as one of the works Maximum happiness, By Isaac Cecron and directed by Jose Ignacio Cabrog, among many others.
In June 2007, an exhibition of his work titled "Trasnocho Arte Contact" A review of personal aesthetics. Where he presented his extensive work, both systemic and museum and theatrical. "I was lucky to collect, through the design, a series of testimonies, indeed, this is a historic journey of what was our country, of Venezuela that left us," he said at the time.
"The most important thing in the exhibition is that it can open paths for new designers to present their work, and the time has come for the design of Venezuela to be taken into account, because it is one of the most prominent in America, there is a national award for plastic arts, the National Photography Prize, but the graphic design has been neglected."
Lang was one of the founders, in 1964, of the Design Institute, the first academy of the profession in Venezuela. In 1982 the institution was in a critical position after the Neumann Foundation transferred all the support it had offered to the National Training Institute. That same year, the designer put down the reins to pick up the school. "For me it means a great challenge, because I have a great vocation of service to take it forward and finally make it a center of professional training at an optimal level," the artist said in an interview with the committed approach that characterized him.
His character, his life partner, the dance teacher, Jose Lazma, reminds him that he is precious and correct. "He was very careful, he had a lot of precision for things," he says.
Designer Carolina Arenal, who studied at a design institute when Lange was a manager, remembers that she had a great mission to train her students. "He took his students to work with him," he says. He adds that he was a pleasant person in therapy and very respectful.
Quintero adds: "He had humor and he was a gentleman, and John was the most modern classic graphic designer of the 20th century, characterized by great aesthetics, he could never marry fashion."