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Woodbury University’s WUHO Gallery will host an exhibition dedicated to the groundbreaking visual communications of Deborah Sussman.

Exhibition Poster by Thomas Kracauer featuring Deborah Sussman's Standard Shoe Panels (1970)
Exhibition Poster by Thomas Kracauer featuring Deborah Sussman's Standard Shoe Panels (1970)

This December 2013, Woodbury University’s WUHO Gallery will host an exhibition dedicated to the groundbreaking environmental graphic design of Deborah Sussman. This will be the first retrospective of her early work, including projects completed while she was at the Eames Office up to the 1984 Olympics. This will be a month-long celebration that will include a panel discussion, gallery exhibition, and poster publication. The exhibition is curated and organized by Catherine Gudis, Barbara Bestor, Thomas Kracauer, and Shannon Starkey. Your donations will specifically go to mounting this exhibit: framing, secure mountings on walls, secure display boxes for 3-D items, everything from nails to paint to frames to display boxes!

Thank you to our sponsors including A+R Store!!

From her years with the Eames Studio in the 1950s and 1960s, her partnership with Paul Prejza and the incorporation of Sussman/Prejza in 1980, to the creation of the iconic identity and “pop-up” architecture for the 1984 LA Olympics, Deborah Sussman has helped shape the visual landscape of Los Angeles and define the field of environmental graphic design. We need your help to mount an exhibition of about 50 objects and images that represent her early- to mid-career. By contributing to this kickstarter effort you will be a part of an exhibition that will offer insights into the cultural milieu of LA as it developed into a global city, the organic connections between modernist and iconoclastic architecture in LA (from Charles and Ray Eames to Sussman/Prejza), and the role of collaboration in design.

J. Magnin Department Stores (cir. late 60's) and Standard Shoes (cir. late '60 - early '70s), design by Deborah Sussman in collaboration with Frank Gehry and other architects
J. Magnin Department Stores (cir. late 60's) and Standard Shoes (cir. late '60 - early '70s), design by Deborah Sussman in collaboration with Frank Gehry and other architects

Deborah Sussman has worked at the interface of graphic design and the built environment for more than 60 years. She has created striking visual imagery and devised its imaginative application for architectural and public spaces both permanent and temporary, including the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, Seattle's opera house, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL.

1984 Summer Olympics, design by Sussman/Prejza Team and Jerde Partnership
1984 Summer Olympics, design by Sussman/Prejza Team and Jerde Partnership

Throughout her career Sussman has claimed an ever more expansive role for graphic design in the urban landscape. Sussman uses graphic design to emphasize aspects of the built environment and to provide rich connections to the communities and cultures in which it will participate.

Sussman and the Eames Office wearing 4th of July Glasses by Sussman (cir. 1965)
Sussman and the Eames Office wearing 4th of July Glasses by Sussman (cir. 1965)

Sussman has a long standing relationship with architects starting from her first job as a designer in the Eames office in 1953. Breaking out on her own just a few years later, into an architecture and art world run exclusively by 'studs', she worked and surrounded herself socially with the likes of Ed Ruscha and Ed Kienholz. 

Catalogue of an exhibition of L.A. pop art that accompanied the Guggenheim's traveling exhibition Six Painters and the Object when it came to LACMA. Guest curated by the Guggenheim's Lawrence Alloway. Designed by Deborah Sussman, 1963
Catalogue of an exhibition of L.A. pop art that accompanied the Guggenheim's traveling exhibition Six Painters and the Object when it came to LACMA. Guest curated by the Guggenheim's Lawrence Alloway. Designed by Deborah Sussman, 1963

In Sussman’s work architectural ideas can be tracked through her graphic work, at the same time being subject to its influence - from the use of supergraphics to giant sonotubes which could be read like a graphic wrapped around to become a self-supporting piece of temporary architecture.

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We need your help to successfully mount the exhibition. Your funds will allow our team to safely mount and present these unique one-of-a-kind pieces. We have created this Kickstarter, which will only last one month, to ensure we have the support we need to bring Deborah Sussman's iconic work to the public.

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  • Pledge $20 or more
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    35 backers

    For $20 you share in the good will and get to be a part of this effort to successfully mount an exhibition dedicated to Deborah's iconic work. Please come to the opening on December 12!

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    33 backers

    For $100 you will receive one of the specially made posters for this exhibition.

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  • Pledge $200 or more
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    10 backers

    For $200 you will receive a poster, designed specifically for this exhibition, signed by Deborah Sussman.

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  • Pledge $500 or more
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    5 backers

    For $500 you will receive a signed poster and an issue of the prestigious Design Quarterly, now out of print, produced by the Walker Art Institute dedicated to Sussman/Prejza's design for the 1984 Olympics

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  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    3 backers

    For $1000 or more you will receive the signed poster, an issue of the Design Quarterly, now out of print, produced by the Walker Art Institute dedicated to Sussman/Prejza's design for the 1984 Olympics, and an invite to a party honoring Deborah Sussman on December 12.

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Funding period

- (30 days)