It is perhaps the magical exaggeration of reality in the illustrations by Swiss graphic artist Jack J. Kunz (1919?2009) that impresses us most. Inspired by Surrealism and the visual language of Herbert Matter, Kunz developed a hyper-realistic style that connects the “magical realism” of the Swiss object poster with American Pop Art. This was no coincidence. After a foundation course in the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich (1935), an apprenticeship as a graphic draughtsman, further years of training in the studio of Amstutz & Herdeg and four years running his own graphic design studio in Zurich, Kunz emigrated to America in 1947. He lived for two decades in New York where he worked with (among others) Herb Lubalin for Sudler & Hennessey and later as a freelance illustrator. His most important clients included the famous US magazine "Sports Illustraed", the popular series of science books "Life Nature Library" and "Life Science Library, and the "St. Regis Paper Company". In1968 Kunz responded to the invitation of Walter Herdeg and with his wife and child returned to Zurich, where he assisted Herdeg as project head at Graphis Verlag. In 1976 he left this publishing house and again worked as a self-employed illustrator, this time based in Pfaffenhausen. He produced numerous illustrations for the advertising material of clients such as American Express, EDP Computer Systems, Heinz Company, Brauerei Haldengut, Bell, Nestlé, Suchard, Migros, Hero, Geberit, Kaba and the Swiss Post Office.
The Museum für Gestaltung Zürich is devoting this exhibition to Jack J. Kunz in recognition of his services as an illustrator and wishes to thank his family for the generous bequest of his artistic estate to the Graphics Collection.
Opening: 11 September 2012, 7 pm