Rudolph de Harak’s Abstract Purity
Rudolph de Harak made me see Modernism in graphic design differently. No longer was it a style, but an attitude for order and improvisation (orderly improv). Below, you’ll see de Harak’s cover for Persectives USA, a magazine of art and culture of the United States that was published in New York City from 1952 to 1956 as part of the so-called “Cultural Cold War against the Soviet Union.”
The magazine was edited by New Directions founder James Laughlin and published by the nonprofit organization Intercultural Publications, with funds from the Ford Foundation. It featured many of the MidCentury Moderns, including Leo Lionni, Alvin Lustig and Paul Rand. This cover has a delightful sense of formal freedom.