Lucie and Luke Meier
HUMAN NATURE / MOTHER NATURE
The 21st issue of A Magazine has been curated by Lucie and Luke Meier, the co-creative directors of Jil Sander. The Meiers approached their ‘carte blanche’ project for A Magazine as a call for reflection and an open dialogue on the dualities of the one theme that is present in all of their work – HUMAN NATURE / MOTHER NATURE.
A potent juxtaposition of the natural world with the constructs of built architecture and human cultural phenomena within recent history forms the basis of this document. Breathtaking landscapes are intertwined throughout, with arresting scenes of fragile beauty captured on both a micro and macro scale. The geographic culmination of the Meiers’ lives and careers is presented with stories from the Canadian wilderness to the Swiss Alps, passing through the streets of Paris and Florence, and the work spaces of artists across Europe and the United States. Personal contributions abound, with reflections on the theme offered through photography and painting, illustration, interviews, music and poetry, as well as essays deconstructing liberal arts education at Black Mountain College and sustainability in fashion today.
Historical works from the Meiers’ distinct canon of modern art favourites are juxtaposed with new imagery from a host of new and established names in photography across 200 pages arranged in the form of visual ‘plates’ in the tradition of art book publishing, with the issue’s text component appearing as a ‘legend’ to close the magazine. A keen emphasis on family sees many projects executed by teams consisting of husbands, wives, brothers and sisters, as well as drawings by children from the Meiers’ extended family and friends.
A Magazine #21 is offset-printed on Lenza recycled paper made in Italy, featuring a 3D-scanned cover replicating a Japanese floral washi paper handmade in the hills of the Noto peninsula by a 3rd generation paper maker. The issue is stitch-bound with an invisible spine and printed in the Aosta region of northern Italy. Inspired by the Swiss franc coin, a unique font typeface entitled ‘Meier’ designed by Buero Paris has been incorporated into the issue.
“When we first began discussing our approach to the magazine, we quickly decided on the concept of nature, and specifically the relationship between Human Nature and Mother Nature. They are concepts that are front and centre everyday and we felt that it was important to acknowledge them in this issue.” Lucie and Luke Meier
More often than not, the designers chosen to curate A Magazine set out to invert the traditional role of the editor: to stop time and gauge deep into their subconscious — in all its tumult of singular and collective thoughts. Approaching our 20th anniversary year, we have been privy to the brilliance of many unique minds. May it be said though that none have ever truly worked alone.
Lucie and Luke Meier are separate entities, each creatives in their own right whose professional paths crossed years after their personal lives became firmly entwined. Working together as the joint creative directors of Jil Sander, they embarked upon this journey with us harbouring that same intention — the quest for intemporal beauty — yet in doing so, have created an issue timelier and more poignant than we could have ever imagined when beginning this process in 2019.
Entitling this project Human Nature / Mother Nature, the weight of the Meiers’ theme simply cannot be ignored at a time when disparities and touchpoints between mankind and planet Earth hold a crystalline presence in our global awareness. By inviting mothers and sons, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews to examine this topic on a macro and micro scale, this oeuvre reveals but a glimpse of the vastness of our known geographies — yet a glimpse that’s rarely appeared so tangible in these pages.
The results tread ever so lightly across history, too. They start in Florence, the birthplace of the Meiers’ love story nearly two decades ago. By drawing perceptive parallels, the duo have acknowledged schools of aesthetics and learning that have formed a vital role in shaping our postmodern condition, as well as the lives and times of artists concerned with deconstructing the complexities of our relationships with nature and each other. Through their eyes, the quiet majesty in domestic and spiritual architectures collides with fragile examples of Earth’s precious ecosystems — those without which we might find ourselves cast afloat in a sea of data, pixels, and missed connections.
Dan Thawley, Editor-in-Chief
BLACK MOUNTAIN COLLEGE
I AM VULNERABLE
DIFESA DELLA NATURA
THROUGH CHILDREN’S EYES
YASIIN & UMI
HIS PERSONAL EFFECTS
KHALIL JOSEPH & NOAH DAVIS
Adrianna Glaviano, Alexia Rosalie Sicard, Amy Verner, Anna Cecylia Lieselotte Keinath, Anne-Sophie Prévot, Anton Max Karol Keinath, Arnold Rüdlinger, Barbara Morgan, Bowen Gabriel West Butler, Brice Marden, Buby Durini, Chris Rhodes, Cleo Eryn Vega Butler, Constantin Brâncuși, Daido Moriyama, Dan Er. Grigorescu, Dan Hăulică, Daniel Johnston, Delfino Sisto Legnani, Dick Johnston, Dilys Williams, Edward Burtynsky, Emanuele Colombo, Eugene Souleiman, Giacomo Leopardi, Giasco Bertoli, Giorgio Conti, Giorgio D’Orazio Vinditti, Hannes Hetta, Hazel Larsen Archer, Heiko Keinath, Imogen Cunningham, Isis May Butler-Cragg, Jeewi Lee, Jefferson Airplane, Jeff Wall, John Pawson, Jordan Hemingway, Jorge Balarezo, Joseph Beuys, Julia Hetta, Kahlil Joseph, Karl Lehner, Kelsey Lu, Larry Fink, Laure Prouvost, Lina Scheynius, Lorenzo Vitturi, Luc Tuymans, Lucien Smith, Margrit Linck, Masato Nakagawa, Massimo Torrigiani, Monica Titton, Moritz Giacum Mennig, Nigel Shafran, Noah Davis, Noam Levinger, Olivier Kervern, Pamela Rosenkranz, Panamarenko, Peter Chung, Rainer Maria Rilke, Rhoda Meier, Richard Bush, Robert Feintuch, Robert Frost, Sachiko Ito, Samuel Beckett, Sarah Richardson, Selva Barni, Shaniqwa Jarvis, Sheron ‘Umi’ Smith, Sienna Leonie Sicard, Stefan Armbruster, Stefan Schlumpf, Tarek Abbar, Tarik Kiswanson, Thomas Mailaender, Tim Elkaïm, Tom Burr, Tomona Matsukawa, Vincenzo Castella, Willem de Kooning, Yasiin Bey AKA Mos Def