Bruno Munari (1907- 1998)

“It hasn’t always been easy for me to have people take me seriously. I play with children. And, in a society such as ours, anyone who plays or works with children runs the risk of being thought eccentric.” Munari, Italian artist, inventor and designer.

Bruno Munari
Bruno Munari, portrait.

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About his life

Bruno Munari (October 24, 1907, Milan – September 30, 1998, Milan) was  an Italian artist, designer, and inventor whose work could never be defined. He created and invented across mediums and methods such as paper, painting, sculpture, toys, photography, film, education, fine art and graphic design.

Cover of the exhibition catalogue My Futurist Past.
Cover of the exhibition catalogue My Futurist Past. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art.

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What are the main features of Munari’s style?

The quirky objects, furniture, books, pictures and workshops he created encouraged learning through tactile, physical and kinaesthetic play. His work is often associated with the Italian Futurist movement, he also drew heavily from Surrealism’s vibrant pallets and the Bauhaus‘s geometric forms.

Square Deconstruction by Bruno Munari.
Square Deconstruction, Bruno Munari

image source: by colindunn

Image source: by colindunn

Munari encouraged children to learn about the world through touching and playing with materials and things. Possibly one of his most well-known interventions was his Tactile Workshop series. In these Murani in worked with groups of young children to experiment with touch as an exploration of material’s properties and artistic concepts.

Bruno Munari's ABC
‘Bruno Munari’s ABC’. Published by Chronicle Books.

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Bruno Monari's photo with a child playing with a red toy.
Bruno Munari

Image source: by eovemar

Some of his other famous works

  • Chair for short visits, 1945, for Zanotta
  • Zizi Monkey, 1954, for Pigomma
  • Cube Ashtray, 1957,  for Danese
  • Falkland Lamp, 1964, for Danese
  • Tetracono, 1965, for Danese
A group of 'Falkland lights' from 1964. The pendant is still produced by Danese Milano.
A group of ‘Falkland lights‘ from 1964. The pendant is still produced by Danese Milano.

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Cube Ashtray, 1957
Cube Ashtray, 1957, Munari for Danese.

image source: by mfarchitetti

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