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Edward Wright

Edward Wright (1912–88) was an artist and designer. Born in Liverpool, where his father was Ecuadorian vice-consul (his mother was Chilean), he trained and worked briefly as an architect before concentrating on painting, drawing, print-making, and also ‘commercial art’ (as it was then still called). From 1942 through to his retirement he lived in London, with periods of work in book publishing and advertising, and teaching graphic design (very broadly conceived) – most notably at the Central School (his evening classes in typography, 1952–6, became legendary) and at Chelsea School of Art. Wright was among those who fostered the modern spirit in Britain, working alongside architects, and refusing any simple split between art and design. He was always much concerned with text and language. Among his exceptional work is the lettering that he made for modern buildings, often managing both a specific design and an alphabet that could be applied more generally. A short book of writings by and about him is available. Among other documentation of his work, see: here, an article in Baseline no. 52, and an appreciation in Unjustified texts.


Large extra wright cover

Edward Wright: readings, writings

Petra Cerne Oven (editor)

Born to South American parents, British citizen, cosmopolitan at heart, Edward Wright – painter and object-maker, typographer, writer, teacher – was an enigmatic presence in London’s post-War art and design scene. Wright has been described thus: ‘His subjects: human communication, the mundane, the street. His manner: sparing, self-critical, yet the work had vigorous attack and full conviction. His typical method: assemblage, with what was to hand.’

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