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Prof’s art earns space at the Modern Museum of Modern Art

By Tatiana BrownStaff Writer In September 2012, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) New York City recently acquired a poster designed by Tom Klinkowstein, Hofstra University professor of graphic design and new media, for their “punk/post-punk archive” permanent collection. Klinkowstein designed the lithograph in 1980 for performance artist Laurie Anderson. A lithograph is the result of printing from a plane surface, such as a smooth stone or metal plate, on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area ink-repellent. “It is what museums call “offset” printing, a common printing technology used on most newspapers, for instance,” Klinkowstein said. The poster was an advertisement for a Benefit Concert and Dance Party for Volume, which was held on May 11, 1980 at Irving Plaza. Volume is an international catalogue and directory of audio work in the arts. The poster, which is designed in black and white, includes a Polaroid of punk-rock artist Laurie Anderson and now Executive Business Editor of the Huffington Post Peter Goodman, with text in ripped strands detailing the event across the front of the page. The poster was displayed throughout Manhattan prior to the event. The opportunity to design the poster was a happenstance for Klinkowstein and came about through a series of social connections. “I got to know Laurie Anderson when I was living in Holland, and then met the director of Volume through her,” Klinkowstein said. After the event took place Klinkowstein did not bother to think of the poster and became involved with other work with AT&T, NASA and IBM. It was only recently that the poster became relevant. “[MOMA] contacted me by email six weeks or so ago; a complete surprise, since I hadn’t seen the poster in 32 years,” Klinkowstein said. MOMA told Klinkowstein that a curator for the museum had seen the poster at a show assembled by a collector at the Steven Kasher gallery in 2011. Soon afterward Lawrence Benenson, a member of the MOMA Board of Trustees, gave the museum the piece. “Looking at it now, it is quite a piece of visual archeology: hand-made with label-maker typography in the tradition of ‘zines,” said Klinkowstein. “There’s the Polaroid SX-70 of Laurie Anderson and Peter Gordon, and in the background an image of an IBM digital device of some sort, very new for that time and a specter of things to come.” The poster adds to the numerous exhibitions of Tom Klinkowstein’s work, which include the Proteus Gowanus Gallery in Brooklyn, the AIGA National Design Center Gallery in NYC and the Municipal Theatre in The Netherlands.

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