When April [Greiman] and I met, she saw my laminated portfolio and remarked, “These look good enough to eat off, they’re placemats!” This led to our making Space Mats, laminated images for just that purpose. They proved to be a crossover idea and gave us huge visibility, not only in the design community, but the marketing world as well. For quite some time we operated in both worlds with Space Mats, Space Tissues and Space Buttons. Interestingly, the design world and the marketing world had [their] own seasons and the two were complementary; fortunately as one slowed the other picked up.

—Jayme Odgers, interviewed by Steven Heller for Print

Out of this World

The Space-works of Jayme Odgers & April Greiman

Several years after they first worked together to create a brochure for CalArts, Jayme Odgers and April Greiman set upon creating their unusual and popular series of Spacemats. They produced these as the firm Visual Energy and distributed them internationally, including at major department stores Bloomingdale's and Macy's. "Space mats were like placemats," Greiman said, "only they were our photographic or collage images, offset printed and laminated." Today, many of the Space Mats and related materials are held in the collections of major institutions, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. 

Seeing and Being

The Expansive Visions of Jayme Odgers

by Marian Lawrence

Jayme Odgers, Self-portrait, 1979

Jayme Odgers was a transformative, visionary artist whose work constantly pushed boundaries and defined a generation. Over the arc of his life as a graphic designer and artist, he continually reinvented his engagement with content, form, and style, perpetually redefining how one might see the world. Odgers’s body of work spans the strict constructs of Modernist graphics, the pre-digital experimental photographic collaging known as photo-design, the structured chaos of the Pacific Wave movement that he pioneered, and the introspective personal work that represented his relentless pursuit of spiritual growth and intellectual challenge. This collection offers a survey of Odgers’s expansive career, showcasing the development, range, and depth he possessed as a true original, an incredible polymath, a great communicator, and groundbreaking artist.

Early in his career, Odgers displayed an aptitude for Modernist design: in his work with the legendary Paul Rand in the 1960s (and later, his own commercial practice), Odgers brilliantly employed the rigid principles of modernism to create award-winning corporate identity materials — indeed it was his early wayfinding signage for IBM that attracted Rand as an employer and mentor. Odgers brought a sophisticated, lively viewpoint and exceptional technical skills to these commissions, becoming quite successful over the span of thirteen years.

I feel my better works are infused with a metaphysical space as well as an illusion of physical space – infinite space at best. At that point they come “tantras” of a sort; images that allow one’s mind to expand out-wardly to the edges of one’s known universe. When meditated upon one can hopefully “hear” the universe and sense the pulse. When I’m hot, and I’m cooking, that’s the soup I’m after. Celestial soup.

Jayme Odgers