Contemporary arts, pictogram and graphic design

what happens when a pictogram that has been created with the goal of easy and quick comprehension is transferred to art?

The loneliness of signs. Fire exit signs, arrows, no smoking signs - modern humanity is surrounded by pictograms. In contemporary art, the occupation with pictogrammatic symbols provoked the desire for new means of communication between artists and viewers.

Already at the beginning of the twentieth century, artists made significant contributions to the reanimation of a system of signs that was considered to be rigid and lifeless. In 1904, Wassily Kandinsky claimed to use art in order to develop a language that was more effective than Esperanto.

Hilma af Klint created a cosmos of impressive abstract forms, which only "insiders" are able to interpreted. Using human figures, El Lissitzky and Alexander Rodtschenko developed pictograms, which are meant to be decipherable for workers and children alike, at the service of a new society. In the twenties, Gerd Arntz and Otto Neurath employed pictograms to illustrate abstract relations, for example the visualization of population statistics. Here, the fields of applied arts and fine arts are often inextricably linked to each other.

In contemporary art, the occupation with pictogrammatic symbols by artists such as Lars Arrhenius, Von Brandis or migrantas project has become an important and very topical theme. Now these artistic pictograms will be on display in a completely different context and therefore gaining yet another meaning and depth.

Pictogram is based on a system of categorizing experience, a spectrum that ranges from pure subjectivity to pure objectivity. Through this system we explore the ways that we represent, navigate and reinforce our individual and collective perspectives on reality. It may be added as a closer explanation of the signs that the depicted head represents the individual human-being with his view of the world.

In a sense, the square with the enclosed circle shows, as if through a magnifying glass, the section which we always see when we view the world individually. Each takes his own section as a representative symbol of the world, a fact pregnantly expressed in the next picture, the framed world. The entire world now fills the circular form which represents the sign in the symbol of the sign.

This development of our perception from the individual to the detail is responded to by the depiction of the unframed world before a blue background as an expression of Utopia, the world seen in its entirety and in unity, without limitations.

Finally, the four circular forms in their symmetrical arrangement symbolize the appropriation of the world based on concepts of order, our division into elements and systems.

The figure four stands for the four elements of fire, water, earth and air, also for the four points of the compass, the four seasons - indeed, it stands for the inner ordering of the world as such.

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