Museum Folkwang
  • Berlin Life – Posters by Volker Noth

  • Volker Noth (born in 1941) is considered one of those poster designers who lent the cultural advertisements that plastered Berlin from the end of the 1970s to the dawn of the 21st century their own distinct character and thanks to their unparalleled qualities garnered international renown. A special mention must go to his collaborative work with the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) – lasting over 25 years; in addition, Noth also designed numerous posters for other public institutions such as museums and theatres.

    Early poster work
    It was in 1965, still during his University years, that Volker Noth created the first of his posters that found its way onto the advertising columns; it announced a talk on the role of nuclear power in the European energy industry of the future, hosted by the Europa-Union Deutschland (EUD). For the most part, Volker Noth’s early posters reflect the rudiments of his overall artistic approach, properties that would really come to bear in his later work for the Berlin IFF and other prestigious museums and theatres. These elements include, to name but a few, a visual language that is at times poetic but always appropriate to the commission at hand; but most notably a reduced approach to typography and the strategic planning of an overarching character that would then run throughout any given series, even those over a long period of time. These were the essential elements that can most certainly be regarded as prerequisites for his future work.

    Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)
    Between 1977 and 2001, Noth was entrusted with the task of designing the posters for the annual festival, not only announcing the Berlinale itself but the numerous fringe events and exhibitions that accompany it too, such as those part of the Generation (dedicated to children and young people) and Panorama sections. Volker Noth’s pieces for the Berlinale were rather gentle in their provocation yet still succeeded in polarizing opinion. There was barely a single poster that passed without comment or critique, the gamut of responses ranged from admiration to distain. In this way, Volker Noth’s posters fulfilled their function in the public space to a tee: Attracting attention to both the subject and the medium itself. His posters are thus inextricably linked to the history of the Berlinale.

    Posters for (other) cultural events
    In contrast to the posters for the Berlinale, where Noth was set out on his own with an extremely free design brief and the luxuries and burdens that came with it, his commissions for other public institutions and museums came with a rather different set of conditions. Here the client prescribed fundamental elements of the design, such as the theme, corporate colours, typography, how the sponsor’s logo (here an indispensable element) should be integrated into the design, and more besides. Volker Noth’s works are testimony to his fine feel for creating bold, striking designs, for making an impact. Photography and typography form the bedrock, often combined with strong colours to achieve high-contrast levels. His works are seldom »loud« and bright, rather vibrant and colourful; they don’t try to steamroll the beholder but to convince them. His personal style thus communicates the respect that drives him in the interpretation of the theme or subject at hand.
  • Exh_Title_S: Berlin Life – Posters by Volker Noth
  • Exh_Id: 1,598
  • Exh_Comment_S (Verantw): German Poster Museum
  • Exh_SpareNField01_N (Verantw ID): 242
Works
Die Rolle der Kernenergie / in der zukünftigen / Energiewirtschaft Europas
Der / Wald / A.N.Ostrowskij
Harold Pinter / Der Liebhaber / Landschaft
27. Internationale / Filmfestspiele / Berlin
37. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
40. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
43. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
Berlinale / 48. Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin
Museum / kann Spass / machen!
Fotografien / für das Bauhaus / Erich Consemüller
Rebecca Horn
Matisse / Papiers Découpés (Akt mit Orangen)