From the Frequency series
Limited edition of 10
Offset lithograph on paper (black)
76 × 112 cm
250gsm acid free archival 100% rag neutral pH
Printed by Big Fag Press
Signed and numbered by the artist
Featuring the NON Dit-Dah typeface available from Formist Foundry
Gowing’s abstracted geometric typesettings subvert the conventional written word to create new combinations of form and language. The work employs a type system of formally deconstructed letterforms that combine with typographic statements to create frequency fields. These typographic statements are rhythmic and textural interventions that elegantly abstract our agreed system of language marks, questioning our innate understanding of reading and comprehension. The frequency of these visual fields creates an illusion of movement and vibration—like an optical form of expression, the works seem to dance with depth and texture. Gowing’s view from outside our standardised language systems provides a kind of alien perspective and lends new meanings to existing writings.
Morse features a text biography of morse code inventor Samuel Morse. The text is constructed using a typeface made from the bones of the now defunct morse code system. Conventional letterforms are assimilated as near as possible with their corresponding morse dots and dashes. The resulting work is a field of dots and dashes lacking a predictable linear reading pattern. Positive and negative spaces share an equal tension, blurring the line between the coded system and the English language.
Mark Gowing is an artist, designer and publisher working in Eora/Sydney, Australia. He is the director of Formist, a publisher, type foundry and graphic design studio, specialising in books, typefaces and cultural and commercial commissions. Gowing is also co-founder of the groundbreaking music arts organisation Longform Editions. With a practice spanning more than 30 years, Gowing has produced projects for leading organisations and institutions with a passionate focus on visual art and language, design, film and music. He has been honoured with solo exhibitions at the 22nd International Poster Biennale in Warsaw, Poland, the Divieto d’Affissione in Turin, Italy and Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Gowing is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale and his work is held in numerous institutional collections including the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York, USA.