One of the most celebrated names in the twentieth century Italy in graphic designing
Born in Milan in 1907, Bruno Munari’s work has spanned the entire twentieth-century. He has been a driving force in visual arts and the non-visual arts, as his work was not limited to one medium, and he frequently published his theories, as well as his poetry. He was also fascinated with games, and designed several for children.
Munari’s artistic ambition was influenced by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, whom he met in Milan in the mid-1920s. Munari formally allied himself with the second generation of Futurists in 1927, and continued to exhibit with them into the 1930s. Few works of Munari’s remain from this period, as most were made from transient materials. One extant work in tempera from 1932 suggests that Munari had fully adopted Futurist aesthetics. Several other examples from the 1930s, however, show a clear debt to Surrealism.
Info source: http://www.primaveragallery.com
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Which was the main features of Munari’s works?
Munari began to move towards Constructivism, particularly with his kinetic sculptures, Useless Machines (begun 1933), meant to transform or complicate their surrounding environments. Throughout his career, Munari was captivated by both a sense of whimsy and the manipulation of artificial light. After World War II, Munari also developed radical innovation in graphics, typography, and book publishing, through the latter creating pieces he would call Useless Books.
Info source: https://www.artsy.net
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Which are his most significant products?
After the war, Munari was very active as an industrial designer involved with mass production. His 1945 alarm clock, ‘X Ora‘, in which rotating half disks replaced conventional hands, has been claimed as the earliest multiple, although it was not actually put into production until 1963. Also in 1945, his ‘Bruno Gigi cerca il suo berretto’, published by Arnoldo Mondadori, was illustrated by bold colour lithographs, each of which had a moveable flap that revealed another image beneath. This was a children’s book, a field in which Munari made an outstanding contribution over the next 40 years. At the same time, he produced ‘Libri illegibili‘, book objects that had no text. Their content consisted of geometric figures, transparent sheets, tracing paper, perforated, pierced and torn pages, and rigid sheets of black or single bright colours. Munari also experimented with projecting light through plastic, and, in 1963, made a coloured- light film, ‘I colori della luce’, accompanied by electronic music. His post – war sculpture had affinities with the works of Arp and Gabo, while in its use of motors it prefigured Tinguely.
Info source: http://www.britishmuseum.org
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Awards and recognitions
- Compasso d’Oro award from the ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale) (1954, 1955, 1979)
- Golden medal of the Triennale di Milano for the “Libri illeggibili” book (1957)
- Andersen award as best child author (1974)
- Honorable mention from the New York Science Academy (1974)
- Graphic award in the Bologna Fair for the childhood (1984)
- Award from the Japan Design Foundation, for the intense human value of his design (1985)
- Lego award for his exceptional contributions to the development of creativity for children (1986)
- Award from Accademia dei Lincei for his graphic work (1988)
- Award Spiel Gut of Ulm (1971, 1973, 1987)
- Honoris causa in architettura from the Genova University (1989)
- ADCI Milan Hall of Fame in Creativity and Communication (1990)
- of the Brera Academy – Marconi award (1992)
- Cavaliere di Gran Croce (1994)
- Honorable partnership of Harvard University
Info source: https://en.wikipedia.org
For more references, please also visit: http://www.jbdesign.it/idesignpro