Article from Gebrauchsgraphik, 01, 1962
Hans Jürgen Rau is already known to the readers of the Gebrauchsgraphik. – We published some of his posters which were distinguished as the best posters of the year and moreover published some of his private photos in August, 1961. The present article will give a full report on his commercial graphic work within the last years.
Rau was born in 1931 and received his first artistic training under Hans Bohn from 1949 to 1953 at the Werkkunstschule (School of Arts in Crafts) in Offenbach on Main. After this, he still studied for some semesters under Professor Funk at the Stuttgart Fine Arts Academy. Even as a student his special talent for graphic art and photography came to light, and this same talent was to characterize all his later work. His personal comment: • Even during and before my schooling I did a lot of photographing and later on used photography also in my graphic designs. In the course of time, the graphic and the photographic techniques came to be so closely wedded that today I am almost at a loss to tell where photography leaves off and graphic design begins. » In these lines, Rau gives a very exact description of his technique of artistic expression, which simultaneously may be considered as the characteristic style of contemporary commercial art as a whole. In Rau’s case, the combination of graphic design and photo produces a particularly positive result, since he uses the photo not so much as an object of representation but rather as a suggestive means of expression.
Even at the beginning of his professional career, he surprised the experts with unusual photographs which netted him several great distinctions and were published in well-known magazines and annuals. In 1958 he opened a studio for the Frankfort branch-office of the American Advertising Agency • Intercontinental Marketing Services, » and has since that time been the Art Director of this Studio.
In addition, he works as a freelance graphic artist and has of late been specialising in the application of colour photography to publicity purposes. The many professional responsibilities with which he is burdened fortunately have not impaired the artistic quality of his work. As the illustrations show, his every piece of work is the fruit of detailed graphic preparation and a great wealth of imagination.