"Abram Games exhibition revue"

The exhibition, Abram Games, Maximum Meaning, Minimum Means

    I received a surprise email on Sunday (15.03.09). Naomi Games informed me that the

exhibition of her fathers work had moved up north to the The Museum of Lancashire in

Preston. Many years ago as an art and design student I use to hot foot it up to London and do

the rounds at the galleries and design museums. These days I have nether the time nor the

motivation to make the journey; however, a short trip down the M65 could be done within

half a hour.


 Museum of Lancashire

    The Museum of Lancashire is situated on Stanley Street (A6) which is a continuation of the

M65. Coming from the M65, drive along the A6 for about 7 minuets. As you pass Home

Base on your left look out for the museum on the right.


    The entrance to the museum building is at the side and this takes you straight into the main

exhibition room. There is a shop on your right where you also pay a modest £3.00 for



    The Abram Games exhibition (Maximum Meaning, Minimum Means) is on the 1st floor.

Go through the main exhibition room and on your left is a doorway that takes you to the

bottom of a staircase, this takes you up to the exhibition.


    The first room you enter is like a reception room which has two adjoining room to the left

and right. The room has a large, low table in the middle with not much on it. On the back walls

are two L.C.D. monitors. The one on the right appears to be showing a static picture of a

Cona Rex. This I will come back to later. The monitor on the left is running what appears to

be a DVD about Abram Games. The DVD features contributions from art boffins such as

graphic designers John Hegarty and Arnold Schwartzman, and commercial photographer

  Richard Seymour. There is also an air brush demonstration using one of  Abram's own

Aerograph and footage of the great man himself.


Abram Games exhibition      Abram Games exhibition



    Going through to the room on your right, you are met with posters on all surrounding walls,

and glass display cabinets to the centre of the room, of which three contain what I have come

here specifically to see.


Cona coffee machines      Cona coffee machines

    Three generations of Cona coffee machines, from the original "Traditional Table Model" to

the current "Table Model" with the "Rex" in the middle. This is the first time I had seen the Rex

in the flesh so to speak. The design of this coffee maker reflects Abram's poster work in that it

is art with functionality. Abram's posters are works of art, there is no doubt about it, but they

also have a purpose. They are there  to inform and give guidance. They have a practicality.

The Conas are works of art that also make perfect coffee. There is no better looking coffee

machine nor better coffee maker.


Abram Games exhibition      Abram Games exhibition

    The exhibition is not all about the Conas as can be seen from the photos above. This room

consists of  just a small selection of his work with the main bulk in the other room.

    As I move back through the reception area to the second room, something catches my eye.

The static picture of the Cona Rex is not as static as I first thought. It's actually a DVD of the

brewing process. I've seen many videos on You Tube of the Cona in use, but they all cut out

the bits where nothing much happens. This is different. This shows the brewing process from

cold using the spirit burner. Moving art and what could be the coolest screen saver in the



Cona coffee maker 

    Moving through to the second exhibition room you are met with wall to wall posters

covering all eras of Abram's work. From pre-war air brushed art through to his later hand

brushed work. Each period is set out so you can see how his work had changed over the



    How you perceives any piece of art, or the work of an artist, is down to the individual. It

could as simple as, you look, you like, you don't like. What you read into or extract from art is

also your own opinion. It may differ from other people but it dose not mean that it is right or



    When I look at Abram's work I see something that is complete. A morphing together of art

and information. The art itself is simplistic; minimum means. It is something that I could do. It's

the maximum meaning where I would fall flat on my face. It is not so much the art in the

graphics but the design in the graphics that made Abram games a great graphics designer.


    Abram Games: Maximum Meaning, Minimum Means

Venue: Museum of Lancashire

Date: 14/03/2009 - 16/05/2009