Richard Aschenbrand (aka fashionbrand) made his mark teaching at CCAD for 45 years. Though he only retured a year ago, he already has a body of work to show, and CCAD is proud to host his first exhibition since retirement.
Aschenbrand’s exhibition Alphabet Alliteration will showcase three paintings and 28 prints; it will run Nov. 22–Jan. 10. Each print features a letter with words below that are not only alliterative, but also reference the first word.
“This series looks at art, design, color, typography, alliterations; and a friend of mind recently said it reminded him of poetry—and in a sense, it is poetry,” Aschenbrand said.
Some of the pieces in the series have a stronger meaning to Aschenbrand. For him, the Holocaust piece has an especially potent visual and emotional impact.
“My parents are survivors of the Holocaust, so this one connects with me on a more personal note,” Aschenbrand said. “But not only is it meaningful, it is also very visually strong—this piece resonates with me every single time I look at it.”
It’s hard for Aschenbrand to choose a favorite out of the series. Some other top candidates include Cancer, since he created it when he was battling cancer, and Youth, which houses his favorite phrase, “youth yields yesterday’s yellowing yearbooks.”
The series was birthed many years ago when Aschenbrand, while working in the advertising field, wrote the card for A, Advertising. A couple of years ago when Aschenbrand and his wife were moving he found that card and decided to continue the series.
Aschenbrand is also publishing this series in a book, which will be available for purchase at the opening reception on Nov. 22. The book includes a foreword written by CCAD president Denny Griffith. Griffith discusses Aschenbrand’s childlike, but sophisticated, glee in the perfect bit of typography or the right kerning adjustment.
“The guy loves anything that is visually sublime,” Griffith said in the foreword. “In the spirit of such insistent alliteration one is tempted to point out that it is perfect partnering of poetry, playfulness, and provocation.”
Aschenbrand, although enjoying retirement, still works with the same amount of passion that he had at the beginning.
“Some younger students may not remember me or know me, and hopefully some who remember my time at CCAD will come see the show,” Aschenbrand said. “But it feels as though I have never left CCAD. CCAD is a part of me. How can it not be after 45 years and being able to teach so many artists?”
The alumni newsletter is published four times a year and features the latest news and information for the alumni of Columbus College of Art & Design.