ERASMUS PRIZE 2006 AWARDED TO FRANCE'S PIERRE BERNARD
The Board of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has decided to award the Erasmus Prize 2006 to the French graphic designer, Pierre Bernard. The Erasmus Prize is awarded annually to a person who has made an exceptionally important contribution to European culture, society or social science. The presentation of the prize will take place on 24 November 2006.
The field in which the 2006 Erasmus Prize will be awarded has been described as 'Design for the public domain'. This includes the realm of the state, politics and the common good. In making this choice for the public domain the Foundation did not consider the designer who functions as a specialist in form, fashion and market, but rather the designer as thinker who, during the design process, is conscious of forms of interaction with other disciplines, users and commissioning parties.
Pierre Bernard was one of the inspiring leaders in the design collective Grapus that valiantly promoted the renewal and professional enhancement of this field in France. After the dissolution of Grapus in 1990, Pierre Bernard established the design studio Atelier de Creation Graphique in 1991 - one of the successors of Grapus - which he has led ever since.
The work of Pierre Bernard concentrates on the public domain, and on all its sectors: communication between governments and citizens; communication in the public sphere; use of and orientation in the physical space of town and country; presentation and representation of current cultural productions and the cultural heritage. He researches not just form, but also content, context and the process of the commission, and, in so doing, gives preference to experimentation and innovation.
Pierre Bernard's body of design work is fed by the diverse cultural traditions of Europe and is informed by non-dogmatic, critical thinking. These values have taken form not only in the sciences and the arts, but also - partially due to Bernard - in such a modern discipline as visual communication. "Graphic design will not turn the world into a paradise, but it may contribute to a more humane world".
For further information please contact:
Foundation Praemium Ersmianum
Images of works and portrait are available on demand.
Please ask Etienne Bernard
T: 00 33 1 40 03 94 70
About Pierre Bernard
Pierre Bernard was born in Paris in 1942. After graduation from the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs in 1964, he received a scholarship to study poster design with Henryk Tomaszewski at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and completed his studies in 1971 with graduate work at the Institut de l'Environnement in Paris. In 1970 he founded Grapus with Francois Miehe and Gerard Paris-Clavel, whom he had met during the May 1968 student movement; Alex Jordan and Jean-Paul Bachollet joined the group in 1976. Grapus sought to 'change life' through a twofold dynamics of graphic arts and political action. In 1984, 1985 and 1988 Grapus designed the corporate identity of the Centre National des Arts Plastics, the Parc La Villette and the Louvre Museum respectively.
From 1978 on, Grapus showed its work in major exhibitions at the Musee de l'Affiche in Paris, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Aspen Conference in Aspen, Colorado, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montreal.
He also received numerous awards and prizes: at the Warsaw Biennale in 1978 and 1980, the Brno Biennale in 1978 and 1982, the Lahti Biennale in 1983, the Colorado Biennale in 1983, Agraf in Zagreb, the Art Directors Club in New York and at the Triennale of Toyama in 1988.
In 1990, the year when Grapus decided to end its activities, he was awarded France's National First Prize for Graphic Arts. Pierre Bernard then founded the Atelier de Creation Graphique with Dirk Behage and Fokke Draaijer and was responsible for, among others, the visual identity of the French National Parks.
Pierre Bernard now heads the Atelier de Creation Graphique which responds to a wide variety of commissions in the fields of publishing, poster design, signage and visual identity systems with the conviction that graphic design fulfils a cultural mission of public interest. As of 2001 the most important client has been the Centre Pompidou in Paris.
A member of the international Graphic Alliance since 1987, Pierre Bernard presently teaches graphic design at the Ecole National Superieure des Arts D coratifs in Paris. He is currently one of the Art Directors of the International Poster and Graphic Arts Festival of Chaumont.