Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA) has announced the installation of a commissioned series of banners that pay homage to the Loop’s iconic public art – while becoming a temporary work of public art themselves. Eight unique banner designs feature abstracted and distilled interpretations of iconic Chicago public artworks (including Pablo Picasso’s unnamed sculpture in Daley Plaza and Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate) in an arresting eight-color Modernist palette. Chicago designer and artist Bob Faust designed the banners, which are currently on display through July 30 on State Street between Lake Street and Congress Parkway. The series marks the Chicago Loop Alliance’s participation in the citywide initiative Year of Public Art.
Faust sought a design that allowed each unique sculpture to be recognizable, but also be part of a discreet set, arriving at a simple shape solution. Typography was reduced to its simplest elements, also to be part of the illustrative style and not compete with the illustrations themselves. Matisse’s cutouts were among the inspirations for the graphic style.
“These banners – which take familiar works and reduce them to their elements, reinforcing how ingrained public art is in our consciousness -- blur the line between art and design,” said Kate Keleman, Creative and Placemaking Manager at the Chicago Loop Alliance.” They transform the often-mundane street pole banner into an instrument that changes the experience of the street and creates an immersive design gesture.”
"Chicago's greatest public artworks make powerful memories from the feelings they invoke,” said designer Bob Faust. “My goal through these minimalist graphics is to instigate a reaction that reaches back into our memory banks and pull up the original feelings made by the artworks they represent.”
This installation of graphic design in the public sphere is born from CLA’s Loop Placemaking Initiative—an expansive series of innovative public space activations throughout the Loop that advance the organization’s commitment to create, manage and promote high-performing urban experiences in downtown Chicago.
Bob Faust is an artist and designer as well as the principal and creative director for Faust. His collaborative and non-secular approach to his work results in functionally expressive visual experiences meant to inspire change and instigate tangible actions. Faust has been recognized as a design leader nationally and internationally and has received many accolades and awards. Faust is also the studio/special projects director for artist Nick Cave, where he both collaborates on exhibition design as well as produces Cave’s performance works. He currently serves on the Appleton Coated Design Council as well as the School of the Art Institute’s Fashion Committee and recently sat on the board of directors for both AIGA Chicago and Riverside Arts Center.
Chicago Loop Alliance (CLA), the sole service provider for SSA1-2015, creates, manages and promotes high-performing urban experiences, attracting people and investment to the Loop. For more information, please visit www.LoopChicago.com.
Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Chicago Loop Alliance banners celebrating the city's Year of Public Art (photo courtesy of Chicago Loop Alliance).