A Practice for Everyday Life

Ornament and Crime was published to accompany a group exhibition curated by Meg O’Rourke at Eykyn Maclean in New York in 2018. Taking Adolf Loos’ titular 1908 polemic as a starting point, the exhibition draws together a genealogy of form through the work of a number of twentieth-century artists, exploring the critical and conceptual connections between artworks and ideas.

The cover typography references Piet Mondrian’s Tableau-poème (1928), a work that was central to the development of the curatorial position taken within Ornament and Crime. The linear motif that features on the cover is repeated in pared-down form throughout the book, through the use of single-line captions that sit alongside the page numbers, and the layout of images was developed in reference to the asymmetry and harmony of archetypal Modernist book design.