At the Peninsula Arts gallery they have an exhibition by Ivan Chermayeff, one of the leading designers of the late half century. The exhibition is called ‘Cut and Paste’ and refers to the passion Chermayeff has with collage and the concept behind cutting and pasting materials. Looking at transforming the old and creating something new.

Ivan Chermayeff

Ivan Chermayeff



Chermayeff’s work is very similar to the artists Matisse’s style, they share the same style for their collages. Bold and brightly coloured shapes made up of paper and other mediums. Throughout the exhibition he displayed a range of textiles and techniques showing the diversity of his skills and ideas within the theme of cut and paste.

The overall tone to his work is quite childish which is due to the nostalgic nature of cut and paste evoking the feeling “I could do that”, or “a child could do that”. Opening up our thoughts on what could be art and making us see things in a new light. Although many of the work by Chermayeff is simply paper cut up and stuck in a particular way he also explores other mediums blurring the boundaries as a designer.

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The exhibition was laid out so you could only really walk one way through the space. Each section of styles were in chronological order, allowing the viewer to really see his progression and thought process as an artist. Some of the pieces in the exhibition where at awkward heights and it was frustrating not being able to touch them. being collages the range of textures makes the pieces inviting to touch. Maybe this was what the artist intended or the curator, making you bend down and focus your attention on the piece and creating that desire to touch the piece but leading to an inconclusive end.

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Amongst his work were pieces that he was commissioned for by well known companies such as MOBIL. These large scale posters were very eye catching with some striking designs. The series of posters allows the viewer to see how the artists responds to his cliental and seeing the resemblance of style that runs through all his work. Instead of the client designing the pieces he fits the brief to his style.


I really liked this exhibition as you really got to see every side of the artist allowing the artist to show off all his skills and styles but remaining under one theme. It is clear that cut and paste has been an early passion for Chermayeff and it is nice to see him maintain the intrigue behind the techniques and mediums. The simplest ideas can often provoke the most interesting new and exciting ideas. Chermayeff definitely has a striking style that can inspire everyone to explore other mediums that they would not normally explore.

You can visit Ivan Chermayeff – Cut and Paste exhibition

from the 19th of September to the 14th of November at:

Peninsula Arts gallery, Roland Levinsky Building, Plymouth University, PL4 8AA

Free admission



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