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Accidents will happen
George Tscherny Collection Box 12. Page from “Barbizon: Portrait of a Company”, 1967 (from Idea 94, 1969).
October 09, 2014

Accidents will happen

By: bethkleber

The tension between the accidental and the controlled is almost always present in the work of George Tscherny. While a considerable amount of discipline and forethought is essential to his style, you can sense Tscherny’s deep respect for the patterns and arrangements that occur naturally. We’ve discussed Tscherny’s flag motif here before, but I thought there must be many more examples of the seemingly casual placement of fabric beyond his luminous display of Alexander Girard’s fabric for Herman Miller in 1954. Sure enough, there are tons, including some where the technique spread into more rigid media, like paper or simulated film.


A photo of a bundle of paper. The top half of the bundle is folded over. Between the fold is "SEI Corporation. 1982 Annual Report" in white text.


 
George Tscherny Collection Box 3 Folder 1. SEI Annual Report 1982.

A photo of a film strip shaped into a pretzel form. At one end "The DUSTY Award" is printed in black text. In the middle of the film strip is the the School of Visual Art's logo with " School of VISUAL ARTS" printed in black text.


 
George Tscherny Collection Box 15. School of Visual Arts “Dusty” film award, 1998.

A photo of a grey thin cloth that has patterns of white circular spirals. At the bottom of the cloth "SPIRAL an exclusive BERGAMO handprint design by George Tscherny" is printed in white text. The cloth is scrunched in the middle and is not covering the whole image. Below the cloth is a black space.


 
George Tscherny Collection Box 12. Fabric design for Bergamo Fabrics, Inc. (from Graphic Design 8, July 1962).

A photo of a dark blue denim fabric. "Burlington" in sewn into the fabric with bright green bold lettering. The fabric has a few folds that cause the lettering to curve. On the bottom of the photo in white text "1963 Annual Report".


 
George Tscherny Collection Box 12. Burlington Annual Report 1963 (from Graphic Designers in the USA vol 3, 1970).

A photo of thin burlap fabric that is rumpled. The white background can be seen through the thin fabric. Below the left side the fabric "'Woven into the Life of America'" is printed and below the right side of the fabric "Burlington Industries, Inc. 1964 Annual Report" is printed.


 
George Tscherny Collection. Burlington Annual Report 1964 (from George Tscherny: Maximum Means, Maximum Meaning, 1997).

Tscherny devoted an entire calendar (below) to the exploration of chance vs. control, through a combination of his photography and watercolors. The watercolors echo designs for Lark cigarettes, which capture the tension in a single project: the spontaneity of ink bleed within a carefully composed puzzle-like arrangement.


A scan of a calendar spread. On the left page is an image of a pleated thin fabric that is scrunched up all together and creates wave-like patterns. On the right side is an appointment calendar page that is split into 6 section for Monday-Saturday.


 
George Tscherny Collection Box 14. School of Visual Arts appointment calendar, 2000.