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Gunnlaugur SE Briem

Gunnlaugur SE  Briem

Gunnlaugur SE Briem

California, USA

Calligrapher, designer, publisher

Calligraphy

Let us give thanks to Christopher Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Soule of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1867 they laid the foundation for the calligraphy of the Western world. They invented the world′s first commercially successful typewriter.

An army of people made their living in the nineteenth century by writing documents by hand. Machines had been used to produce books for four hundred years. But documents were still made with pens and ink.

The main reason for penmanship classes in schools was to give the students a sellable skill. Clerks were needed to write out correspondence and sales ledgers, legal briefs and government paperwork. A well executed business letter from that time looks at least as attractive as the engravings and oleographs that people hung on their walls. Standards were high and tradition strong. Yet handwriting was not an art form. Twelve hour workdays were commonplace. The pay was low. Still, gifted clerks took pride in their trade and enjoyed the very human desire to show off.

Time passed. In business and government, typewriters replaced pens. But the skills and the aesthetics that surrounded them were not abandoned. People liked beautiful writing and adopted it for their own pleasure. Calligraphy took its place among the decorative arts. It was nurtured by great teachers, such as Edward Johnston in Britain, Rudolf von Larisch in Austria, and Rudolf Koch in Germany. There was a new beginning.

I thank Messrs. Sholes, Glidden and Soule of Milwaukee, who toiled to change their lives with a very useful invention. The teachers I thank for having changed the world, and my life.

Author works

Three Futharks, the runic alphabet

91.5x129 cm, Viking writings, digitally created calligraphy work based on handwritten script, 2009

The End of the World

91.5x129 cm, Viking writings,digitally created calligraphy work based on handwritten script, 2009

Brush futharks

91.5x129 cm, Viking writings , digitally created calligraphy work based on handwritten script, 2009

ABC Song

Silk screen decoration on card stock, 64x45 cm, 1980s.

Imre Reiner Exhibition Poster

Silk screen decoration on paper, 44,5х63,5 cm, 1983.

Doomsday Clock

Silk screen decoration on paper, 43,3х64,6 cm, 1986.

Variations on the Letter S

Linocut, 44,5х64, 1983.

Operina


Exhibition poster. London

Silk screen decoration on paper, 52x78 cm, 1982.

Exhibition poster. Living Letters. Reykjavik

Silk screen decoration on paper, 48x74 cm, 1982

Exhibition poster. Jonathan Pollitzer

Silk screen decoration on metal foil, 52x76 cm, 1987.

Poster for an art school course

Silk screen decoration on metal foil, 57x77 cm, 1976.

Exhibition poster. Arthur Baker

Silk screen decoration on paper, 45x64 cm, 1985.

Outline uppercase letters (educational alphabet)

Silk screen decoration on paper, 44x57 cm, 1983.

Boxed set

Silk screen decoration on paper, 43x65 cm, 1986.

Preamble of the Constitution of the Russian Federation

Paper, inkjet dye, 90x120 cm, 2008.

Homage to Juan de Yciar

Woodcut, 29,5x45 cm, 1986

Utopia

Paper, inkjet dye, 90x120 cm, 2008.

Rough study

New Year card, 90x90 cm, 2005.

Ribbon black letter, Gothic script

Paper, Inkjet dye, 90x120 cm, 2008.

Cursive handwriting. Icelandic method

Paper, inkjet dye, 90x140 cm, 2008.

Interlace alphabet

Paper, Inkjet dye, 90x85,5 cm, 2008.

Copperplate

Paper, inkjet dye, 72x77 cm, 2007.

Bold wood

Paper, inkjet dye, 90x120 cm, 2008.

ABC. Wooden plate

Plate

To Phoebe

William Schwenk Gilbert's sardonic poem.
Block letter writing, fashioned as a writing exercise with a defined baseline, midline and left margin. Lettering print, 42x59,4 cm, 2010

Machiavelli

A quote from Niccolo Machiavelli in Italian and in English.
Casual italic text in black and light outline letters on rough paper. Lettering print, 42x59.4 cm, 2011

Spirals

One of the texts is a lament from a poem by Jonas Hallgrimsson (1807—1845), the other — the traditional beginning of Icelandic fairy tales: "Once upon a time...".
Freely written with a broad-nib pen in italic and monoline italic, a handwriting model for schoolchildren. Lettering print, 42x59.4 cm, 2011
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Words Of Wisdom
For the largest part ill handwriting in the world is caused by hurry.
(Lewis Carroll)