Swip Stolk is certainly one of the great names in dutch graphic design. He died last sunday at the age of 75 . There are some iconic designs by Stolk that are worldwide famous. Specially the peeing poster for the Serrano exhibition drew attention from all over the world. There was a typical Swip Stolk styke of design. He broke with the minimal designs of the sixties ( Crouwel and Wissing) and invented his own exuberant style of design which was soon to become the “house style” of the Groninger Museum for which museum he made for nearly two decades many important book and publication designs.
I remember it well. It was the first time i met with Jan van Capellen, the responsible person who had the same function at the Boymans van Beuningen Museum as i had with the Gemeentemuseum at that time and we carried box after box with one of the heaviest catalogues ever produced by the combined (important) dutch museums. Within the project the Stedelijk Museum, Haags Gemeentemuseum, Arnhem Gemeentemuseum, Museum Boymans van Beuningen and Centraal Museum Utrecht all participated and all had a different approach and subject on dutch design. The overall design of posters and catalogues was executed by Anthon Beeke and Swip Stolk. Unfortunately the catalogue was at that time not the success the museums had hoped it would be , but now…. over 30 years later, it is a sought after collectable catalogue. One that inspires and was at the start of the dutch design mouvement which is now collected all over the world. Catalogue and exhibition posters are available at www.ftn-books.com
Because of a recent sale , i was reminded that there are so many important designs made by this master of ALCHIMIA. The design group that made the most remarkable designs in the eighties. Beside these designs he made for Alchimia, he also was a gifted architect and book designer. A multi talented artist who made some of the most iconic designs and in the Netherland was partly responsible for the architecture of the Groninger Museum. The Groninger Museum got his new building in 1994. At that time it was one of the most spectacular Museum buildings in the world.
This was possibly the building that paved the way for many more avant garde museum buildings. For instance the Gehry building which was made for the Guggenheim museum was opened in 1997, 3 year after the opening of the Groninger Museum. Since, the Groninger Museum always has had a special interest in design and their own publications have for the greatest part been of the highest possible quality. In many of them Swip Stolk had a role and they always show the influence of Alessandro Mendini .
Artist/ Author: Oliver Boberg
Title : Memorial
Publisher: Oliver Boberg
Measurements: Frame measures 51 x 42 cm. original C print is 35 x 25 cm.
signed by Oliver Boberg in pen and numbered 14/20 from an edition of 20