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Unknown artist, Briefcase [Senegal], late 20th century, cans, wood, commercial hardware, and newsprint. Gift of Larry W. and Mattie R. Harms, 2011.001.037

New exhibition at OSU Museum of Art explores type through an international lens

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Media Contact: Casey Ihde | OSU Museum of Art Marketing and Communications | 405-744-2783 |

Opening Oct. 11, a new exhibition at the Oklahoma State University Museum of Art highlights type-based imagery in art by international artists.

Type-based imagery in art can be revealing, often reflecting historical, social and cultural conditions of a society. The use of type and text expands beyond basic communication — it can express individual, national, and global experiences and identities. Even when audiences don’t have a common dialect, the expressive use of type can cross language barriers. “Beyond Form: Type as Image” explores these properties of type through works of fine art.

Curated by OSU Museum of Art Curator of Education Christina Elliott and Pouya Jahanshahi, associate professor in the Department of Art, Graphic Design, and Art History, “Beyond Form” studies a broad spectrum of objects from ancient Greece to the contemporary moment. 

Artists include Utagawa Toyohiro, Niki de Saint Phalle, Pablo Picasso, Edwin Schlossberg, Jim Dine, Panamarenko, Moslem Parvin, Pouya Jahanshahi, Robert Cottingham, Robert Indiana, Chip Kidd, Jiro Kuwata, Reza Abedini, Michael Rocco Pinciotti, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, Jaume Plensa, Homa Delvaray, Edward Fella and Saul Steinberg.

“As the cultural production of visual content has continued to grow exponentially in methodology and form, this collection is an attempt to step outside that stream, and to examine the boundaries of typography, semantics and art and inquire upon the vernacular framework that we reside in,” Jahanshahi said.

Elliott added that working with the collection and OSU faculty is always a pleasure. 

“We made a special effort to ensure that this show explores the formal qualities of type, but also represents a variety of perspectives,” she said.

“Beyond Form: Type as Image” opens Oct. 11 at the OSU Museum of Art in downtown Stillwater. A reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. on  Oct. 11. Admission is always free thanks in part to the generosity of Deb and Dave Engle, Caroline and John Linehan, Suzanne Sugg, the OSU President’s Office/OSU Foundation, Thomas N. Berry & Company and the OSU Museum of Art Advocates. 

Discover more at and on our social media channels @OSUMuseumofArt.

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