Fernand Baudin: A la Conquête de l’Espace

Rossicontemporary, 11.11.2020 — 03.01.2021

Fernand Baudin

A la Conquête de l’Espace

Fernand Baudin has been an important influence in the recent history of Belgian graphic design, notably through his international relations. His works on typography and layout have been translated and have enjoyed a certain popularity abroad. His career was marked by a period of important changes in graphic techniques, moving from the manual to the digital age. His typographic constellations are based on the importance of calligraphy and, in his words, of ”the Gutenberg galaxy” for the new digital era. 

Without falling into nostalgia, he argues that learning calligraphy and the origin of writing is essential for the future of communication. Presenting himself as a typographer, he attaches great importance to creating the best conditions possible for the reader and leaving space for typography to express itself. Typography is an example of a constellation of techniques modelled on script, which according to Baudin must be seen in historical continuity.  

His numerous works, such as the posters for the Royal Library of Belgium (now KBR), demonstrate his conquest of the space of the printed matter. The format of the posters is quite narrow, because it was adapted from the glass doors where the posters were displayed. 

In spite of the great variety of the different themes of the exhibitions organised, Baudin was able to create a continuity over the years. By presenting the different posters as a whole, Baudin’s typographic accuracy is exposed; he, however, never considered himself as a poster designer. 

This exhibition took place thanks to the art gallery Rossicontemporary.