Sneak Peek: Stefan Sagmeister’s “The Happy Show” At ICA

With spring in the air and the sun in the sky already providing a sort of preview, it feels like today is a perfect time to tell you that the next exhibition to open up at the ICA is all about HAPPINESS. Stefan Sagmeister, whose iconic images you may recognize from album covers for Talking Heads, Lou Reed, OK Go, and The Rolling Stones (among all kinds of other stuff), is a New York by-way-of-Austria artist, and his show, “The Happy Show,” will open up at the ICA on April 4th. And it’s basically one visual/textual expression after another of actual, unfettered joy. “The Happy Show,” says the ICA, “offers visitors the experience of walking into the designer’s mind as he attempts to increase his happiness via meditation, cognitive therapy, and mood-altering pharmaceuticals.” Oh ICA, you had us at hello.

After the jump, two images from “The Happy Show,” including one of two businessmen skywriting in a pissing contest, which also happens to be an allegory for, basically, the whole of the modern world.


“Assuming is stifling,” 2004
Art Direction: Stefan Sagmeister
Design: Matthias Ernstberger
Photo: Matthias Ernstberger
Client: Dai Nippon Printing Company


“Everybody (always) thinks they are right.
….about everything.”
Concept: Stefan Sagmeister
Design: Matthias Ernstberger
Photo: Bela Borsodi

All images courtesy ICA Phila.