Like the montages of newspaper headlines that the old Hollywood directors employed to suggest a leap forward in the narrative, the piles of gallery announcements that flood our mailboxes in the early fall are a sure sign that things are going to start happening very fast. The variety of sizes and styles in announcements is fairly large and in a state of constant flux; raining down on us from the hundreds of galleries that crowd the metropolis, they form an information blizzard that is both exciting and disorienting. There’s nothing new about the appeal of a beautifully designed announcement or catalogue—standards set in the Thirties and Forties by the galleries of Julien Levy, Pierre Matisse, and Curt Valentin can be matched but scarcely excelled—and yet in the current period of unprecedented expansion what is chosen in the way of typography and design may be the result of calculations way beyond the...


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