A conversation with Gagosian director Antwaun Sargent at Frieze London 2021 unpacking his exhibition exploring the dimensions of space within the context of the African diaspora.
A Magazine Curated By Lucie and Luke Meier: A closer look
HUMAN NATURE / MOTHER NATURE
Cover and spine
Ever since their initial thoughts on curating A Magazine, Lucie and Luke Meier have paid particular attention to their issue’s physicality. This is reflected in the intricate work that went into creating the paper for the front cover, which replicates the traditional art of Japanese floral washi paper.
Washi is a thousand-year-old paper fabrication technique, first practiced in China before being brought to Japan by Buddhist monks. Generations of craftsmen and craftswomen have passed on the secrets of this ancient craft that remains popular today. Still commonly made from mulberry fibers, it remains deeply linked with nature. After meeting with a third-generation paper maker from the Noto peninsula in Japan, Lucie and Luke Meier incorporated his craftsmanship into the making of the A Magazine cover. A 3D scanning technique replicates the multi-layered texture of their chosen washi paper made with hand-picked wild flowers from a grove nearby the craftsman’s atelier.
Inspired by traditional book binding savoir faire, an open stitch-binding technique enables the magazine to open 180° for each page to lie entirely flat without losing information in the gutter. Aligned with the Mother Nature element of this issue’s theme, the magazine is offset-printed on Lenza recycled paper produced in the Aosta region of northern Italy.
Plates and Legend
Guided by the duality of their theme HUMAN NATURE / MOTHER NATURE, the discussion between Lucie and Luke and Mike Meiré, the creative director of Meiré und Meiré who designed the issue, led to the decision to create a clear separation of the images from the text. The 200-page portfolio of images produced by their large family of creative friends are gathered in the ‘Plates’ section, creating a multi-faceted story and giving them space to live on their own such as they would have if they were exhibited in a physical space. Text contents are collected in the ‘Legend’ section at the end of the issue as a reference area for the imagery. Brought together, images credits, poems and stories create an entity the reader can always refer to by following the legends next to the images while flipping through the pages of the magazine.
‘Meier Font Study’
After the redesign of the Jil Sander logo by creative director Heiko Keinath of Buero Paris, Lucie and Luke also explored the idea of their very own ‘Meier’ logo, from which the MEIER font has been developed. Published for the first time in this magazine, it has been a crucial element for the issue’s creative approach as it stems from Lucie and Luke’s Swiss origins. Inspired by the coinage of Switzerland, the sans-serif typeface is derived from the engraving CONFOEDERATIO HELVETICA on a five-franc piece from 1948. Reconstructed from those 13 distinct characters, Buero Paris extrapolated the remainder of the alphabet and produced a lower-case character set, maintaining the wide proportions, angled terminals, low crossbars, and sharp apices characteristic of the original type. MEIER appears throughout the magazine in both roman and oblique styles, as well as bold, medium, and book font weights.
Entitled Rhapsody In The Street, A#22 responds to the tradition of Black poetry, literature and portrait photography of the 20th century, featuring a curation of archival portfolios and other historical ephemera, as well as newly commissioned essays, poems, paintings and portraits.
An exclusive portfolio of behind-the-scenes images from the Comme des Garçons Spring Summer 2022 collections in Tokyo, Japan, photographed by Noam Levinger.