The studio behind some of Sydney’s best graphic design has opened up its archives, offering the chance to own original prints from some of the 20th century’s most avant-garde art movements.
From its studio in Rushcutters Bay, Design by Toko works across identity, publishing, digital, event and exhibition design. Its projects range from the vibrant, geometric visual identity of Art & About Sydney to the beautiful, hardback lookbook of local fashion designer, Alistair Trung.
Now, with the launch of Print Gallery by Toko, it offers the opportunity to buy original, rare prints and posters from some of the late 20th century’s boldest art movements.
For design enthusiasts, owning your own Robert Rauschenberg print will be hard to resist. And for those looking to introduce some very cool artwork into their home or studio, they can do so without the intimidating price tags of general art galleries. (Concrete Kunst, anyone?)
“This is a really beautiful alternative to buying art from very well-known artists at a much more reasonable price,” says Michael Lugmayr, who runs Design by Toko with his partner Eva Dijkstra. “And it’s not a lesser art form. Most of the art prints are purposefully made for prints, so they’re not representations of a painting.”
The ever-evolving collection of serigraphs, screen prints and lithographs is sourced from auctions, galleries and collectors the world over. It focuses on the point in time when Minimalism, the Zero art movement and early Pop Art meet and includes artists such as Joseph Beuys, Sol LeWitt and Anni Albers.
“The curatorial thread is early ‘70s, ‘60s and even late ‘50s,” Lugmayr says. “It’s an incredible era in art that shapes how we think about design now, and it’s a little bit forgotten, which is a shame.”
If Lugmayr and his team find the right space, they’ll consider opening a separate gallery space, but for now this Rushcutters Bay showroom is open to individuals and companies by appointment. With this face-to-face interaction, Lugmayr hopes to make the experience analogue: “To steer away from technology a little bit and bring it back to physically touching, looking at and appreciating the craft that goes into the print,” he says.
The artworks have been stored so safely in drawers over the decades, Lugmayr says, that when they’re brought out “they look as fresh as ever. Some even smell like ink.”
Print Gallery by Toko (by appointment only)
19A Boundary Street, Rushcutters Bay