Michel W. Kagan, architect and pedagogue (1953-2009)
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Alfred Halasa has produced some 300 posters over the course of his career as a graphic design professor at the UQAM School of Design, creating his own unique world, timeless and unencumbered by passing trends. The UQAM Centre de Design presents Alfred en liberté as a tribute to his 40 years of creative work. The 90 posters in this summer exhibition include some early works, illustrate Alfred's design approach and highlight the recent output of this internationally recognized graphic artist.
At the exhibition opening on June 4, Le Monde d'Alfred II, a book co-published by Éditions de l'Homme and Infopresse, will be launched with Alfred Halasa and author and exhibition curator Marc H. Choko in attendance. This book demonstrates in detail the artist's body of work and his path from his native Poland to the present.
Alfred en liberté
Alfred Halasa is a craftsman. His approach is essentially intellectual, but with a workman's concern for a job well done. The first step in designing a poster is the search for ideas related to the topic, using graphical elements, many of which are cut-out images already in his possession. Cultural issues are always present, symbolically, in his work. He accepts and encourages the association of ideas, the connections between images and the role of chance in creative work. Narration and abstraction, analogy and metaphor, the play of shapes, icons and their configuration interact in a visual language designed to convey the message to the greatest possible number of viewers.
Halasa believes that a poster should be direct and impactful, but never vulgar. He strives for simplicity, even a degree of minimalism. If the poster has the same roots as "graphic art", it is intended not for the museum but for the street. It is aimed at the general public and, on occasion, intended to educate. It must meet the client's expectations and convey the client's message. It must evoke a certain emotion and be easy to remember. Its vocabulary is closer to circus than to classical theatre. Its colours are bold and solid, facilitated by the current use of screen printing.
About Alfred Halasa
Alfred Halasa has a Master of Architecture (1968) and a Masters in Design (1971) from the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts, in Poland. From 1972 to 1975, he worked at several design agencies in Paris, France. Since moving to Montreal in 1975, he has taught graphic design at the UQAM School of Design. A founding member of the UQAM Centre de Design in 1981, he has exhibited his posters in hundreds of group shows, both nationally and internationally, and in dozens of solo exhibitions, and has given a series of public lectures abroad. These activities have led to the widespread recognition of his creative work and a number of international awards. His posters have been selected by museums, libraries and private collections in America, Europe and Asia. Alfred Halasa has taught more than 5,000 graphic designers, influencing several generations. He has supervised a number of educational projects that have been selected in national and international competitions, contributing to the global reputation of the UQAM School of Design. He is currently pursuing his research on the conceptualisation of visual language in communication and his experiments in visual art.
This exhibition was made possible with the financial support of the JEDAC (jury evaluating requests for assistance for creation) of UQAM, and in collaboration with the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland in Montreal.
Address and opening hours
UQAM Centre de Design
1440 Sanguinet Street (corner of Saint Catherine East)
Montreal (Berri-UQAM metro)
Open Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
Phone: 514 987-3395
Interviews can be arranged with Alfred Halasa and exhibition curator Marc H. Choko.
Source: Maude N. Béland, Press Relations Officer
Press Relations and Special Events Division
UQAM Communications Service Phone: 514 987-3000, ext. 1707