Pairing Warp and Weft: Poster Construction by Sonnenzimmer (2012) and Formal Additive Programs (2010), Sonnenzimmer hopes to open a window into their creative process, while expanding the canon of compositional practice related to both art and design. With this new iteration, they continue to contend with the duality of improvisation and formulated outcomes, while striving for the poetic and pragmatic in their approach to the visual field. While the first part of the book focuses on past poster work with a pragmatic and in-depth project break down (clients include the National, the Books, Mouse on Mars, etc), the second, Formal Additive Programs, aims to make a case for composing images through concise programs that embrace conscious flow.
“Over the course of the last eight years, Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi of Sonnezimmer have quietly led the charge of reintroducing the necessity of the abstract in an ever-expanding body of artistically rigorous work. Drawing from a diverse set of influences—from the process-driven experiments of the action painters to the exacting compositions of modern commercial designers—their paintings, posters, textiles, sound pieces, and installations present a whole new set of didactic possibilities that in almost any other context would be destined to fail: challenging yet approachable, bold yet understated, both intellectually-adventurous yet aesthetically-sophisticated. Each new work feels more and more like something drawn from the future; each new piece offers the participant endless opportunities to think and imagine.” — Joe Meno, winner of the Nelson Algren Literary Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Great Lakes Book Award, and novelist of the bestseller Hairstyles of the Damned and The Boy Detective Fails.
“Sonnenzimmer’s work gives me the inner upward swelling of an inspired emotional funnel cloud, a swirling together of many ingredients. One is of just being punched in the face by the sublime, another is a twinge of jealousy because I wish I’d thought of that, or was that good, or was that free. It’s partly inspiration to be better, and it’s partly just gratefulness that something this beautiful and unlikely can exist in the world. Sonnenzimmer has taken the feather-line cracks between art and commerce and expanded them into a ridiculously appealing, endless patchwork landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see. It’s a place I would very much like to build a house. Looking at Sonnenzimmer’s posters you get the feeling that, on the one hand they are smarter than you, and yet on the other that everything they do is as simple and effortless as breathing. In explaining their process, Warp and Weft appears to confirm both impressions. I wouldn’t have thought I could like their work more than I already did, but apparently I was wrong.” — Anders Nilsen, cartoonist and Ignatz Award Winner for Big Questions
“Sonnenzimmer is expansive but takes up little space, accessible but so hard to pin down that the best way to describe the work of Nick Butcher and Nadine Nakanishi is this way: They make stuff. Distinctive stuff. Fine art. Wearable art. Screen-print posters. Improvisational music. Gallery catalogs. CD packaging for Swiss record labels. Poetry magazine covers. Abstracted stuff that somehow finds a way to be practical and decorative but smart.” —Chicago Tribune.
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