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“Underground Images” brings together more than 50 of the myriad posters created at SVA for display in the vast New York City subway system, offering a glimpse of the history of the College and the collective talent of its acclaimed design and illustration faculty. The exhibition was curated by SVA Executive Vice President Anthony P. Rhodes, who has served as creative director for the posters since 2007.

Beginning in the mid-1950s, SVA was in the vanguard of academic institutions in the U.S. to recognize the need for alternative marketing strategies to attract new students. SVA took to the platforms of New York City’s subway with advertising posters that were both thought-provoking and eye-catching, featuring the work of legendary artists like Ivan Chermayeff, Milton Glaser and George Tscherny. All practicing professionals on the faculty at SVA, they used the poster commission to explore what it means to be an artist and hone their own artistic voice. Like the College itself, the SVA subway posters have become in some way inseparable from the city as incitements to creativity and risk taking.

The 32 artists in “Underground Images” include Gail Anderson, Marshall Arisman, Gene Case, Ivan Chermayeff, Paul Davis, Sal De Vito, Stephen Doyle, Louise Fili, Audrey Flack, Nathan Fox, Bob Gill, Robert Giusti, Milton Glaser, Phil Hays, Steven Heller, Mirko Ilić, Viktor Koen, Stephen Kroninger, Marvin Mattelson, Clay Patrick McBride, James McMullan, Jerry Moriarty, Tony Palladino, Edel Rodriguez, Stefan Sagmeister, David Sandlin, Paula Scher, Yuko Shimizu, Eve Sonneman, George Tscherny, James Victore and Robert Weaver.

“Underground Images” is organized by SVA faculty member Mirko Ilić and Francis Di Tommaso, director, SVA Galleries.

Flickr gallery

Exhibition Tour 

National Museum of Contemporary History, Ljubljana, Slovenia
Co-presented by the Emzin Institute of Creative Production
June 4 – July 4, 2013

Academy of Fine Arts, Sarajevo
Co-presented by Students Organizing Sarajevo (SOS) Design Festival
October 9 – 23, 2013

Knez Mihailova Street, Belgrade, Serbia
April 4 – 22, 2014
Read more about it here on SVA Close Up 

Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing, China
April 12 – May 3, 2014

Atelier Dado Gallery, National Museum of Montenegro, Cetinje
April 26 – May 16, 2014

HOW Design Live, Boston
May 12 – 16, 2014

Gallery Izidor Krsnjavi, School of Applied Arts and Design, Zagreb, Croatia
Co-presented by HDD and UBU in conjunction with Dan-D (D-Day)
May 26 – June 9, 2014

Villa Méditerranée, Marseille, France
Co-presented by Alliance française des designers (AFD/French Designers Alliance), Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie Marseille (CCI), Moneydesign and Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, July 15 – 20, 2014

Golden Bee Moscow International Biennial of Graphic Design
October 7 – 12, 2014

MUIP Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey
October 16 – November 14, 2014

Sangmyug University, Seoul, South Korea
November 7 – 13, 2014

International Poster Competition, Skopje, Macedonia
December 7 – 20, 2014 

KCDF Gallery, Seoul
April 1 – 21, 2015

The University of Texas at Arlington, Max W. Sullivan Gallery
April 6 – 27, 2015 

New Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
May 22 – June 28, 2015 

Pontificia Universidad Católica, Quito, Ecuador
September 23 – October 23, 2015

AIGA Design Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana
October 8 – 10, 2015

KDJ convention center, Gwangju, Korea
October 19 – 23, 2015 

Instituto Tom Jobim, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
November 5 – December 6, 2015

Lisbon, Portugal
November 13 – December 20, 2015

Museo San Francisco, La Paz, Bolivia
November 16 – 21, 2015 

James Barry Exhibition Centre, Cork, Ireland
December 1, 2015 – January 22, 2016

Rosefsky Art Gallery, Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York
February 12 – March 11, 2016

Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Galway, Ireland
March 2 – April 8, 2016 

Kiosko Gallery, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
March 21 – 29, 2016

Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland
June 10 – 24, 2016 

Typopassage Micro Museum, Timisoara, Romania
September 16 – November 30, 2016 

A38 Exhibition Space, Budapest, Hungary
November 15 – 26, 2016 

Design Indaba, Cape Town, South Africa
March 1 – 4, 2017 

Bluecadet Gallery, Philadelphia 
May 12 – June 30, 2017

La Escuela Artediez, Madrid
October, 2017

designforum Steiermark, Graz
October 27 – November 11, 2017

The Future, RDS, Dublin
November 3 – 4, 2017

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