19 September • 08 November 2020
Warja Lavater (1913 — 2007) was a Swiss artist who trained in design, graphic design, and typography, based on principles inherited from the Bauhaus (composition, lettering, etc.).
Lavater spent time in New York (1958 — 1960) during which she was struck by the importance of visual code and this gave rise to a “Visual Thought” which she would apply to literature. Her whole use of graphics is based on codifying shape symbols which as they unfold present a narrative in an extremely cinematic way, with zoom effects that either reduce or enlarge coloured details.
Lavater published accordion-fold books of William Tell and Little Red Riding Hood in the United States, then in Switzerland and France with Maeght Éditeur.
These are what the artist called her “Imageries” (pictographic versions of folk tales with geometric forms) which she distributed in art galleries and museum bookshops.