ONYX Posters, 1968-1971

The posters created by ONYX offer a remarkable testimony to the group’s experimental and iconoclastic approach in the protest atmosphere of the American scene of the 1960s-1970s. From a conceptual point of view, and in the  figurative language utilized, these works constitute a sort of prototype of the funk phenomenology through which architecture was expressed in a spontaneous and liberated way, like a conscious means of self-exclusion from the process of production-consumption. ONYX skillfully designed each aspect and detail of its posters, from the graphics and the choice of colors (usually in duotone) to the text, often ironic and intentionally cryptic. The Daily Earth Chronicle poster (ONYX/Williams, 1968) is in black and yellow, while the Calendar (ONYX/Woodson Raney, 1969) is in white and violet, Parsec City (ONYX/Michael B. Hinge, 1968-1970) in blue and white, The World Map (ONYX/Woodson Rainey, 1971) in green and white, Function Follows Form (ONYX/Williams, 1969) and The Rule (ONYX/Woodson Rainey, 1970) in black and white. With perhaps only one exception, Parsec City, which reproduces a futuristic technical structure, the posters are the result of a complex operation of montage, including graphics and text, in which the geometric composition of the design is attenuated by motifs obviously inspired by the alternative culture of the time, from the highly graphic Pop culture to the characteristic psychedelics of the hippy generation.

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