Where Art Meets Design
A/D ("Artist Designer") was a strong and unique voice in the 80s and 90s, for it was the only publisher of editions with the unique distinction to commission projects only from visual artists, and only for functional objects that were meant to be lived with and used.
The idea was that visual artists would bring different solutions to design problems, and would challenge material limits in ways that designers and architects normally would not. The success of the gallery and all that they published was a result of this challenge, and of the standards that they were willing to commit to projects. The roster of artists published by A/D is impressive, from Sol LeWitt and Chuck Close, to Jennifer Bartlett and Arlene Shechet; and the fabricators used were always the best possible, willing to work closely with the artists to solve special challenges; it is unlikely that any wallpaper before or after Joan Nelson’s Vines was ever made using 28 screens.
Since A/D closed some 20 years ago, no other publisher has pursued this path in the same way. A/D remains a very special marker of its decade, and their editions represent an important impulse that is still influential.