April 22, 2016 — May 22, 2016
Raised in Tacoma, Art Chantry worked in Seattle for nearly 30 years. During that time he managed to produce a body of work that, however unorthodox, still rivals some of the best graphic design in the world. He has won hundreds of design and advertising awards, including a bronze lion at Cannes, and the Poster Laureate of the Colorado International Invitational Poster Exposition.
His work has been collected and exhibited by some of the most prestigious museums and galleries in the world: the Louvre, The Smithsonian, The Library of Congress and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to name a few. In 1993 The Seattle Art Museum honored him with a one-man retrospective of his work and this past summer (June-August 2003) PS1, in association with the Museum of Modern Art, did the same. His work has been published in hundreds of books and magazines and in 2001 Chronicle Books published the monograph of his work , Some People Can’t Surf, written by Julie Lasky. In fact, there is even a book about Chantry’s work published in China and written entirely in Chinese…though nobody knows what it REALLY says.
During his time working in Seattle, Art somehow managed to carve out a style that took hold of the popular underground music scene in the early 1990’s. Dubbed “grunge” by culture mavens, it actually was a look developed at an alternative newsweekly named The Rocket, where Art began as art director in 1984 and continued to be involved off and on for over ten years. During that time, the magazine became a virtual hub on the wheel of Seattle’s music and culture scene. Soon his ideas extended beyond The Rocket to the fledgling record label, Sub Pop, where it became history. His ideas found further nuance in his work for the garage rock record label, Estrus Records, where his style found a perfect home.
Through his work with the staff of The Rocket and the classes he taught at the School of Visual Concepts, Art influenced an entire generation of young graphic designers in the northwest, and eventually across the county. He has lectured extensively and traveled to present his work all over the world. He has contributed writings to a number of books about graphic design, and his own book, Instant Litter, Concert Posters from Seattle Punk Culture, is considered a classic in it’s field. To this day, his hard-edge scrappy look can be seen everywhere from punk rock record covers to corporate annual reports.