For more than four decades in America, and before that in Italy and Switzerland, George Giusti's graphic designs have graced the covers of Time, Fortune, Holiday and other major magazines, as well as most of the publications of the United States Information Agency. He has done advertising and graphic designs, illustrations, trademarks, client and employee publications, and package designs for major corporations. He served for ten years as art consultant to Geigy Pharmaceuticals in the United States and Switzerland.
In all of Giusti's graphics, he has avoided the classical and sought instead a contemporary, even futuristic effect. He has succeeded to the extent that his designs are consistently ahead of their time.
It is Giusti's expressed intention to build a bridge between fine art and art for commercial use. He disdains the terms "fine" and "commercial" as defining a distinction which should not exist. Art is art, he believes, whatever its purported use.
This extraordinary artist was born in 1908 in Milan, Italy, of a Swiss father and an Italian mother. He studied at the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan and did graphic design there before deciding to move to Zürich, Switzerland, where he opened a design studio, which he operated for seven years.
While on a visit to the United States in 1938, Giusti was induced to stay by the several excellent commissions that were offered to him, including the opportunity to collaborate with Herbert Matter on the design of the Swiss pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair. Happily launched on a new career, Giusti gave up all thoughts of returning to Switzerland.
Giusti is well known in Europe and America for his architecture and sculpture, as well as his graphics. He studied architecture in Milan and worked at it from time to time, producing stunning examples of contemporary design. His home in Connecticut, shown here in front and side elevation, is constructed of Weathering steel and glass, with only man-made materials throughout. He built a contemporary home in New England for the President of Geigy, and turned the interior of a 12th century Italian chapel tower into a modern vacation home.
His work has for many years been characterized by his use of metal, not only in architecture, but in sculpture and graphic design as well. His metal sculptures of famous people of a decade ago—Pope Paul VI, Richard Nixon, Mao Tse-tung, Edward Heath, Golda Meir and Mick Jagger—are startling in their caricaturist resemblance to the subjects. And his graphic design often includes photos of a metal sculpture he built, or a meticulously drawn illustration of a metal object.
George Giusti's work has been exhibited in America's large cities and in most of the capitals of the world. His portfolio has been published in Graphis, Switzerland, Idea, Japan, Gebrauschsgraphik, Germany, Pagina Art, Italy, and Communication Art, United States, proving with his worldwide exhibitions that Giusti's art speaks over and through linguistic and cultural barriers.
Over the years, Giusti has garnered more than ten gold and silver medals and eighty other awards and citations.
He is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts, Alliance Graphique Internationale, International Center for Graphic Art (Typographic Art), and the Art Directors Club, which selected him as Art Director of the Year for 1958.
Giusti's recent sculptures are bigger and heavier than anything he has ever done, and at seventy, he shows no sign of slowing down. The futuristic building he designed and built in Connecticut serves as home for George and his wife, and as a studio for himself.