Basso & Brooke
September 18, 2010 London
For all any novice knows, the prints themselves may have been as technically complex and multidimensional as ever. They were based on hand-written manuscripts, maps, and abstract oddities like TV static (it actually looked like the diseased screen on a damaged laptop)—all part of an earnest effort by the designers to hark back to a pre-digital age. But the parchment-y tone of old maps and letters left one craving a hit of the hyper-colored pan-culturalism that was once Basso & Brooke's stock in trade, and that craving was only heightened by flashes of ingenuity like an oxidized leopard pattern.
Without the polymorphous diversion of Basso's prints, Brooke's silhouettes took the "prim 'n' proper" (their words) effect to a repetitive extreme. In the high noon of London's glorious print renaissance, this was an odd moment for two of its pioneers to go quiet.