Purple Art

[January 19 2023]

M/M (Paris) new exhibition at Air de Paris

For thirty years, M/M (Paris) have been building utopias within reality, both through their activities as artists and through their commissions as designers. For thirty years, M/M (Paris) have been designing letters as the ‘smallest containers of ideologies’ appearing in their projects. These letters, alphabets or fonts, echo the heterogeneous, heteroclite and transactional nature of their practice, each character portraying as much their own character as the one of their interlocutors or clients. The book Letters from M/M (Paris), published in December 2022, presents the entirety of these letters that have appeared since 1992, analyzed in 480 pages under the critical eye of Paul McNeil, professor of typography at the London College of Communication and author of the definitive encyclopedia The Visual History of Type published in 2017. Presented in the center of the exhibition on an original piece of furniture, the book reveals the toolbox at the heart of their practice, around which their Art Posters1 series is displayed on the walls. This series, originated in 1999 and still in progress, now includes more than 80 posters, systematically produced in industrial silkscreen and in unnumbered editions. It celebrates, commemorates or promotes artistic projects or cultural objects, in the standardized format of urban advertising networks. In the exhibition, 26 of these posters are canvas-mounted, like an A-to-Z of typographic compositions, becoming both semantic matter and pictorial manner. Two new typefaces make their appearance on this occasion, Alphajewel, an alphabet where each letter takes on volume and becomes a jewel, developed in collaboration with Charlotte Chesnais; and Palettres, made of modules extracted from the chromatic circle, the ordered representation of colors used both in art and industry, which writes the title of the exhibition as much as it signs it.

Exhibition from 17 January to 25 February 2023 at Air de Paris, 43 rue de la Commune de Paris, 93230 Romainville, Grand-Paris

Photos by Olivier Zahm

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