Beyond the door pops the head of a giraffe that invites visitors to enter. Moreover, in the cozy rooms of Palazzo Pigorini in Parma runs a fun and exciting exhibition that combines important works of contemporary art illustrations, children’s games and educational corners. The protagonist is Corraini, historical Mantuan publisher – nay, “editorial workshop” – founded over forty years ago by an art gallery by the will of Maurizio Corraini and, from the first period, deeply linked to Bruno Munari. Of the latter was written so much, and here we want to remember only one of his many masterpieces that are on the border of the book, design, art and play, the trilogy White Riding Hood, Yellow Riding Hood and Green Riding Hood.
Much of the exhibition is dedicated to another artist whom Corraini has published My Story and other books: Giosetta Fioroni is present with an entire room, where stands a wall full of works and emotions, such as the design envelope of his letters penned strictly by hand; in the hallway yet her ceramic flowers, in the background an artwork by Michelangelo Pistoletto and to the side one of Mario Ceroli. Why all the artists who over the decades have worked with Corraini’s projects have left to the publishing house not only sketches and drawings, but also works of painting, sculpture, design objects.
However, despite the publisher owns a collection of art of great importance, it is still the book to be the center of the discourse: illustrated, disassembled and reassembled, linked with various techniques, transformed and made even “unreadable”, in a continuous process of research and experimentation. If the results are intended for small users, even adults fall in love right away and you see them walk through the rooms of the exhibition with the air a bit nostalgic and a bit dreamy, peeking through the windows that displays the original drawings, next to books in their final appearance. “The illustration is not a fringe element. Illustration is narration, story through pictures. The illustrator is a creator of stories, a creator of worlds”: This is perhaps the best explanation of Corraini’s thought.
Among the most recent editorial projects stand A Sixteenth, a magazine of 16 pages – the “typographic measure” – entirely dedicated to an artist from content to graphic design, and Inventory, bookzine between art, design and architecture curated by Beppe Finessi. In addition, among the most active artists in Corraini’s “stable” we mention Fausto Gilberti, with his funny The Ogre Eating Children, with Hello, how are you? Moreover, with the brave and intelligent attempt to explain to the children the art of another irreverent genius of the twentieth century, Piero Manzoni, the one of Artist’s Shit.