La Invención Concreta [Concrete Invention]: Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros is a comprehensive survey of South American geometric abstraction from the 1930s to the 1970s. This major exhibition is on display at the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid from January 23 – September 16, 2013.
Bluecadet worked closely with the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros (CPPC) from the beginning stages of the graphic and media design process to develop a truly integrated pre-, in-, and post-visit experience. The results of our efforts include:
-The title treatment and style guide, which unites the graphic design with the digital experiences in the museum, online, and in the iPad app.
-A wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling concept map that shows the connections between artists and the groups, movements, and concepts that influenced them.
-An iPad App, available in the gallery and for free download, which expands on the in-gallery concept map and provides in-depth information through videos, manifestos, magazines, essays, and high-resolution images of every artwork in the exhibition.
-A website that is responsive to both tablets and smart phones and also serves as the multimedia tour. The website offers engagement through social media, an interactive feature, and a number of ways to dynamically sort the artwork in the exhibition.
Title Treatment and Style Guide:
The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros had the vision to bring Bluecadet into the process early to fully integrate the media production and overall graphic design for the exhibition. In doing this, we were able to seamlessly meld the pre-, in-, and post-visit experience.
To create the title treatment and style guide for the exhibition, we went through many design iterations. Our goal was to create a graphic style that suggests elements of the artwork and the curatorial vision for the exhibition while keeping a contemporary look that doesn’t overly reference any one artist or artistic movement. The title treatment continues in this vain by subtly alluding to the artists’ use of movement, illusion, and geometry, as well as the ideas implied by the title “La Invención Concreta [Concrete Invention].”
To help interpret the web of artists, groups, movements, and concepts that underlie the curatorial structure of the exhibition, the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Bluecadet assembled and designed a concept map. The map fills the over 900 square feet of wall in a special media and interpretation room in the exhibition. The map is a visual guide that leads visitors from connection to connection, linking artists with the political, artistic, and philosophical movements that shaped their worldview and artistic process. In the same room as the concept map are iPads that offer a deeper dive into the concept map, artists, and supporting materials. By coupling the iPad app with the concept map, the CPPC offers visitors a bridge between the physical space of the gallery and an intimate virtual look at the exhibition that can be further explored outside of the museum.
The iPad App we created for La Invención Concreta brings the physical concept map to life. All of the artwork, artists, concepts, groups, and movements have supporting content and materials including original manifestos, photos, videos, related artworks, essays, and interpretive audio. The app also includes high-resolution images of every artwork in the exhibition that can be organized by artist, country, and artists’ intensions. This free App offers a depth of content and interpretation that helps contextualize the onsite experience, while offering the entirety of the exhibition and more to anyone with an iPad.
Website and Mobile Tour:
The Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros wanted to make the exhibition accessible to largest number of people possible. To accomplish this, Bluecadet created a tablet and smart phone responsive website that servers as a comprehensive guide to the exhibition, a mobile tour, and an interactive learning experience, complete with opportunities for social engagement and available in both English and Spanish. By making the website not only responsive to screen size, but also to use case, we are able to provide a true pre-, in-, and post-visit experience.