Stasys Eidrigevicius

Niijima Minoru


It could be said that one of the biggest characteristics of the 20th Century revolution of visual language expression, is that of the "visualization of abstract concepts." It is possible to express those abstract concepts, which are easy to understand but difficult to express directly, by using a system of substitution and symbol manipulation of shapes. That is, even themes which cannot be depicted as they appear, can be expressed not in some arbitrary way that the artist nas decided, but in a form that appears so obvious to the viewer that anyone could understand the meaning upon yiewing it. This is the act of presenting the structure of yisual language in an easy-to-understand way.

El Lissitzky and John Heartfield are two artists who have advanced this difficult type of expression. They are the ones who provided yaluable guidance for graphic artists in the 20th Century. The Polish artist Henryk Tomaszewski and American Paul Rand, born two generations ago, and Milton Glaser, also an American, one more generation removed, are still having a direct influence on us today. One designer who represents the postwar generation is the illustrator, Stasys Eidrigevicius.

It could be said that a characteristic quality of Stasys' illustration and poster design is very much his "visualization of abstract concepts." However, in viewing his work, it is possible to see how much the background of his own life experience has influenced his motivation to create. This motivation for personal expression has been so finely sublimated, so as to result in something that crosses national and cultural boundaries, and which can be shared by all people.

The human face is a common feature in Stasys' illustrations. In particular, the expression in the eyes seems to have been given special attention. Furthermore, Stasys piles a variety of shapes on top of that. The collage of images draws out the common impressions that exist in the depths of the human soul. The people yiewing his posters are easily drawn in by the themes of his designs. The syntax of the yisual language in Stasys' images brings forth unique meaning.

Just as the cubists used eyeryday shapes and objects to build a unique graphic world, Stasys also uses the natural shapes and things from his surroundings in daily life as a basis for his own unique graphic world. This originates from his strong will and compositional talent, from such a straightforward attitude towards expression, come these powerful posters. In current-day Japan, where the graphic design world has declined to such a level that the designs can only be understood on a national level, Stasys' work is exactly the motivational force needed to whip our designers back into shape. [...]

Niijima Minoru Graphic Designer Professor,Musashino Art Uniyersity

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