Stefan Sagmeister, Jessica Walsh
The designers Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh are known for their experimental typography and striking visual imagery. Six Things: Sagmeister & Walsh, on view at The Jewish Museum from March 15 through August 4, 2013, marks the first exhibition of their newly minted design firm Sagmeister & Walsh. For the last ten years, Sagmeister has researched the nature of happiness, asking, "Is it possible to train my mind in the same way I can train my body?" In five short films and a sculpture, the studio investigates six things, culled from Sagmeister's diary, that he believes have increased his personal happiness such as: "Now Is Better" and "If I Don't Ask I Won't Get." In addition, intrigued by a recent nationwide survey in which Jews reported the highest levels of well-being of all religious groups, Sagmeister & Walsh are placing a text in the gallery that connects this scientific data to his personal exploration of happiness.
Before this partnership, Stefan Sagmeister was already taking an unusual approach to design. He has created signature album covers for Lou Reed, Talking Heads, the Rolling Stones, and OK Go, and others, and executed indelible ad campaigns for major companies such as HBO and Levi's. In an iconic 1999 poster for the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), he incised type into the skin of his naked torso like a tattoo. At the contemporary art gallery Deitch Projects in 2008 he stacked 10,000 bananas against a wall. Unripe green bananas among the yellow ones spelled out the rallying sentence, "Self-confidence produces fine results." The legibility of the text fluctuated as the fruit turned from green to yellow to black over the course of the exhibition.