Designing Through the Wall: Cyan in the 1990s

June 20–October 6, 2019
Cool blue, pink, gray, and green posters with transparent photo overlays streamlining the white walls.

Born in East Berlin, Detlaf Fiedler and Daniela Haufe started the commercial graphic design agency Cyan soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. They would go on to become some of the first poster artists to utilize early desktop publishing tools like Photoshop and QuarkXPress into their work, while also looking back and drawing from the intellectual history of the famous Bauhaus art academy.

Cyan expands upon Germany’s rich history as a leader in the printmaking world, their posters bursting with saturated colors, perfectly-executed text, and a precision of alignment few could replicate. They turn the tenets of “good design” on their head, proving that advertising does not necessarily need to be immediately interpretable to be successful. This Jewel Box show presents their early posters for the first time in New York City.


Selected Images

A poster of a black floor plan with outlines of air crafts overlaying an orange and white nude figure.
Magmec Berlin, 1991
Detlaf Fiedler & Daniela Haufe
A poster of a monochrome person with overlays of a white transparent open mouth diagram and dog.
Bobeobi, 1996
Detlaf Fiedler & Daniela Haufe
A poster of a blue person with overlays of blue and orange transparent Bauhaus building with texts.
Bauhaus Program März, 1996
Detlaf Fiedler & Daniela Haufe
A pink and black poster of text with overlays of a figure with their arms raised to their head.
Bauhaus Program Januar Februar, 1993
Detlaf Fiedler & Daniela Haufe
A poster of white text overlaying a red transparent grid pattern and a purple person in profile.
Bauhaus Program Mai, 1996
Detlaf Fiedler & Daniela Haufe
A poster of orange and blue overlays of a Bauhaus staircase and the overlay of a face.
Bauhaus Program März Apri, 1995
Detlaf Fiedler & Daniela Haufe
A yellow and black poster of 2 figures walking to the left with overlays of white vertical text.
Experimental Studio Dessau Nord, 1992
Detlaf Fiedler & Daniela Haufe
A poster of a sleeping face with a chart and an orange transparent Bauhaus building overlaying it.
Bauhaus Program Juli August, 1994
Detlaf Fiedler & Daniela Haufe