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Title: Edward Wright (1912-1988) artist, designer, teacher
Author: Pillar, Ann
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2013
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Regarded by a small group of commentators as an unrecognized pioneer of British graphic design, Edward Wright is usually seen historically in terms of his letterform designs for buildings. The body of his work has not generated a literature nor is it known in full. Resistant to categorization, Wright's multifarious activities as artist, designer, and teacher, point to a special need for an extended study, which is undertaken in this thesis. Motivated by a fascination with the visual arts in post-war Britain, and hopeful of comprehending mental attitudes towards design that reach beyond external appearances, the aim is to elucidate Wright's originality by examining his works from within. Part I of the thesis comprises a substantial descriptive catalogue that brings together over 360 of Wright's works, many previously unseen, held in public and private collections. Arranged in chronological thematic order, the works are accompanied by core information and contextual notes. Part II opens with a chronology of Wright's life and works, presented as a framework for four separate discussions, connected by thematic concerns: 1) looks at Wright's deep-rooted connections to Latin America to resolve the problematic nature of his marginality; 2) an audit of Wright's published writings focuses on his free association of ideas, exemplified by the scope of his interests in pre-history, anthropology, language, and literary modernism; 3) shifts the emphasis to the first phase of British Pop Art in the late 1950S when Wright's art practice, combined with his preoccupation with human communication, brought him into opposition to Independent Group interests oriented towards American culture and mass media; 4) a final section aims to suggest how Wright contributed to the genesis of British graphic design, by demonstrating ways in which he introduced abstract concepts, that originated in early European modernism, into his pedagogy and key works
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available