Graphic Designer, Deceased Person
1923 – 2007
Who was Roy Kuhlman?
Roy Kuhlman was born in 1923 in Fort Worth, Texas, and raised in Glendale, California. He received a scholarship to the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles and in 1946 obtained another scholarship to the Art Students League of New York, and also attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. In 1951, at age 28, he showed his portfolio to Barney Rosset, publisher of the avant-garde Grove Press. Rosset was not impressed. However, as Kuhlman was putting away his book, two pieces of abstract art that he had not intended to show fell from one of the side pockets. Kuhlman was hired to design Grove's book covers and did so until the late 60s.
Kuhlman gradually began to apply abstract art in a more graphic way, not only to imagery, but also to type. Rosset describes Kuhlman's designs as an attempt to "go between being a purely creative act and a commercial one." His work was occasionally representational and conceptually based as well. Rosset saw in Kuhlman's designs the perfect counterpoint to the texts he was publishing. He also designed the original format for Evergreen Review, Grove's cultural magazine.
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