“Fine artists have been taking inspiration—when not outright stealing—from the world of graphic design for a century. The list is long: Kurt Schwitters and Georges Braque, Stuart Davis and Charles Demuth, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol, Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer.” —Michael Bierut
Graphic design, in turn, has a tradition of references to fine art, whether we call them inspiration or theft. The relationship between the two fields is a fruitful and uneasy symbiosis. Institutionally, though, a distinction is assumed: design is not art. Each discipline has its own history, culture, heroes, valuations, and functions. Despite these demarcations, those who vigorously explore the complexity of both fields within their practice perform a sort of alchemy. Their multifaceted bodies of work expand and connect both worlds. Undefined by Design presents works of art by visionary designers who share a drive to explore the line between art and design.