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January 17, 2003

Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery presents Massin in Continuo: A Dictionary

On view at UMBC's Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery from January 30 through March 9, Massin in Continuo: A Dictionary is the first United States exhibition of the French graphic design artist Robert Massin (known simply as Massin). The exhibition was first shown at the Cooper Union Herb Lubalin Study Center of Design and Typography.

About the Exhibition
Massin in Continuo: A Dictionary explores the work of self-taught French designer Massin and his groundbreaking career. The exhibition is curated by Laetitia Wolff, founder of the New York-based marketing/design firm futureflair and Editor-in-Chief of Graphis magazine.

While Massin is relatively famous in France, his originality and influence in graphic design is not as well known in the United States. Massin in Continuo: A Dictionary will give American audiences the opportunity to explore his innovative work within the context of the developing graphic design industry in France.

A model of creativity, Massin transcended many long-established boundaries in the field of graphic design and works within multiple disciplines with elegance, humor and diversity. His career has been groundbreaking, spanning editorial graphics, poster and logo design, art direction, typography, photography, publishing, design education, and writing.

Long before the idiosyncratic, broken type of Pentagram, Massin dared to play with letters, manipulating the alphabet, cutting titles, experimenting with forms, signs and fonts, and creating surprising three-dimensional limited-edition covers. He also created a popular series of creative book bindings.

Collaborating with playwright Eugene Ionesco and writer Raymond Queneau, Massin explored the realm of kinetic typography, making their texts come alive in what he calls "expressive typography." Massin has worked for Gallimard, publishing empire of the French literary intelligentsia, for over forty years. In Gallimard's 1964 edition of La Cantatrice chauve (The Bald Soprano) by Ionesco, Massin combined the pictorial directness of a comic book with the expressive letter forms of Futurist poetry to create a design masterpiece of "visualized literature."

futureflair has produced a poster designed by Mirko Illic, sponsored by Scheufelen Paper and Arti Grafiche, which functions as a catalog. It documents the life and work of Massin with a chronology and interpretative texts. futureflair has directed a documentary film presented within the exhibit. Interviews of Massin show him at home, in his studio at work, and discussing his career with various renowned Parisian publishers.

The exhibition is sponsored in part by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, New York; and Les Editions Gallimard, Paris. Its presentation at UMBC is supported in part by an Arts Program Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Friends of the Library & Gallery.

Gallery Information
The Albin O. Kuhn Gallery serves as one of theprincipal art galleries in the Baltimore region. Items from the SpecialCollections Department, as well as art and artifacts from all over theworld, are displayed in challenging and informative exhibitions for theUniversity community and the public. Moreover, traveling exhibitionsare occasionally presented, and the Gallery also sends some of itsexhibits throughout the state and nation. Admission to the Gallery isfree.

Hours of Operation
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday: 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

General Gallery information: (410) 455-2270
UMBC Artsline (24 hour recorded message): (410) 455-ARTS
Media inquiries only: (410) 455-3370

UMBC Arts website:
Gallery website:
This press release as a pdf document (5.2 Mb):

Images for Media
High resolution images for media are available online: or by email or postal mail.

The images in this release (and others) are available at 300 dpi on the abovewebsite.

From Baltimore and points north, proceed south on I-95 toexit 47B. Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs tothe Albin O. Kuhn Library.

From I-695, take Exit 12C (Wilkens Avenue) and continue one-half mileto the entrance of UMBC at the intersection of Wilkens Avenue andHilltop Road. Turn left and follow signs to the Albin O. Kuhn Library.

From Washington and points south, proceed north on I-95 to Exit 47B.Take Route 166 toward Catonsville and then follow signs to the Albin O.Kuhn Library.

Daytime metered visitor parking is available in Lot 10, near theAdministration Building. Visitor parking regulations are enforced onall University calendar days. Hilltop Circle and all campus roadwaysrequire a parking permit unless otherwise marked.


Posted by dwinds1 at January 17, 2003 12:00 AM