Theoretical reconstruction of an imaginary object, the presence of ancestors, illegible writing of unknown people, fossils of 2000, fabrics obtained from the mistakes of printing machines, unreadable books and useless machines. These are the titles of some works by Bruno Munari, a source of meaning and fun for the watchful viewer: a genius who has used art as an original form of expression, which led his creation even before graphics, design, pedagogy and publishing.
The exhibition Munari Politecnico, hosted in Milan in the beautiful and central Museo del Novecento, it is the story of a multi-talented author and his “role in the Italian and European art during the twentieth century and the connection that led him to be an eclectic hero of numerous artistic movements”. Works are drawn largely from Bruno Danese and Jacqueline Vodoz’s collection: friends of the artist, collectors, publishers and industrialists, often partner in meetings and trespassing, for decades they have supported and encouraged Munari to experiment unusual languages.
Divided into sections, the exhibition explores the young artistic orientations of Munari, his relationship with scientific research, with art as a generative matrix of new disciplinary landings, with the artistic production during the succession of various movements of the twentieth century with their correspondences and influences: works quoted by Munari in his books (such as those of Mary Vieira and Victor Vasarely) or created by authors who have exhibited and shared research with him (including Enzo Mari, Max Bill, Franco Grignani); or again, related to artists who have attended him. Inspired by Munari poetic and culture of contemporary design, the layout is composed by assembling lightweight structures and different media linked by joints and gravity.
Alongside the exhibition, the Sala Focus hosts a special entitled “Chi s’è visto s’è visto” (And that was that) – a much beloved expression by Munari, subverts with familiarity the relationship between the self-representation, the virtual size of the portrait and its visual appearance reflected – dedicated to photographic work, partly unpublished, created by Ada Ardessi and Atto, authors that for more than forty years have worked closely with Munari witnessing the highlights of his professional and human career of the artist. Do not miss the works on display in the museum’s permanent collection.
The show does not have a catalog: during its course the curator will collect testimonies, interviews and essays by figures close to Munari plus interventions of scholars who have focused on this quintessential figure of the twentieth century. Everything will be merged into a publication scheduled for the end of the exhibition as a living and dialectic testimony to the figure of Munari, artist and anti-specialist.
Exhibition “Munari Politecnico” and Focus “Chi s’è visto s’è visto. Bruno Munari, Ada Ardessi and Atto”
Until September 7th, 2014
Museo del Novecento, Milan