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Bruno Munari

1907 - 1998 Milan, Italy

7 Works exhibited

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  • About the Artist
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Bibliography
  • Awards

Bruno Munari (October 24, 1907, Milan – September 30, 1998, Milan) was an Italian artist, designer, and inventor who contributed fundamentals to many fields of visual arts (painting, sculpture, film, industrial design, graphic design) in modernism, futurism, and concrete art, and in non visual arts (literature, poetry) with his research on games, didactic method, movement, tactile learning, kinesthetic learning, and creativity.

Bruno Munari was born in Milan but spent his childhood and teenage years in Badia Polesine. In 1925 he returned to Milan where he started to work with his uncle who was an engineer. In 1927, he started to follow Marinetti and the Futurist movement, displaying his work in many exhibitions. Three years later he associated with Riccardo Castagnedi (Ricas), with whom he worked as a graphic designer until 1938. During a trip to Paris, in 1933, he met Louis Aragon and André Breton. From 1938 to September 1943 he worked as a press graphic designer for Mondadori, and as art director of Tempo Magazine and Grazia, two magazines owned by Mondadori. At the same time he began designing books for children, originally created for his son Alberto.
Futurism

Bruno Munari joined the 'Second' Italian Futurist movement in Italy led by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in the late 1920s. During this period, Munari contributed collages to Italian magazines, some of them highly propagandist, and created sculptural works which would unfold in the coming decades including his useless machines, and his abstract-geometrical works. After World War II Munari disassociated himself with Italian Futurism because of its proto-Fascist connotations.
Later life

In 1948, Munari, Gillo Dorfles, Gianni Monnet and Atanasio Soldati, founded Movimento Arte Concreta (MAC), the Italian movement for concrete art. During the 1940s and 1950s, Munari produced many objects for the Italian design industry, including light fixtures, ash trays, televisions, espresso machines, and toys among other objects. A white marble gravestone on the wall of a chapel, with only the name and dates of birth and death inscribed Munari's grave at the Cimitero Monumentale in Milan, Italy, in 2015

In his later life, Munari, worried by the incorrect perception of his artistic work, which is still confused with the other genres of his activity (didactics, design, graphics), selected art historian Miroslava Hajek as curator of a selection of his most important works in 1969. This collection, structured chronologically, shows his continuous creativity, thematic coherence and the evolution of his aesthetic philosophy throughout his artistic life.

Munari was also a significant contributor in the field of children's books and toys, later in his life, though he had been producing books for children since the 1930s. He used textured, tactile surfaces and cut-outs to create books that teach about touch, movement, and colour through kinesthetic learning.

Main Exhibitions

1954. Olivetti: Design in Industry. “Munari’s Slides,” used as an example of his pitture proiettate (1952–54) (Co-Curated by Bruno Munari.)

1986 A Bruno Munari Retrospective. Palazzo Reale, Milan, Italy

1989 A Bruno Munari Retrospective. Museum of Jerusalem, Israel

1995 Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich, Switzerland

1995 Retrospective, Museo di Cantù, Italy

1997 Bruno Munari Instalace, Museum of Modern Art, Klatovy Gallery, Klenova (Czech Republic)

2004 Tinguely e Munari. Opere in azione, Museo La Spezia, Italy

2007 Bruno Munari, Rotonda della Besana, Milan, Italy

2008 Bruno Munari, The Museum of the Ara Pacis, Rome, Italy

2012 Bruno Munari: My Futurist Past. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art.London, UK

Design and visual communication works
Munari, Bruno; Scheiwiller, Giovanni (1963). Good design. Milan: All'insegna del pesce d'oro (later Scheiwiller Editore)
Munari, Bruno (1966). Arte come mestiere [Design as Art (literally: Art as Craft]. ISBN 978-0-14-103581-9.
Munari, Bruno (1968). Design e comunicazione visiva. Contributo a una metodologia didattica [Design and Visual Communication. Contributions to a Teaching Method]. Roma-Bari: Laterza
Munari, Bruno (1971). Artista e designer [Artist and Designer]. Roma-Bari: Laterza
Munari, Bruno (1971). Codice ovvio [Obvious Code]. Turin: Einaudi
Supplemento al Dizionario Italiano. Mantova, Italy: Corraini. 2014

The following are included in Design as Art. They have also been published individually:

The Triangle. Mantova, Italy: Corraini. 2007.
The Discovery of the Circle. New York: G. Wittenborn. (English translation by Marcello and Edna Maestro.) 1965.
Discovery of the Square. New York: George Wittenborn. (English translation by Desmond O'Grady.) 1965.

Munari's books for children

The Elephant's Wish. The World Publishing Company. 1945.
Bruno Munari's Zoo. Cleveland: World Pub. Co. 1963.
In the dark of the night. (Nella notte buia) New York: G. Wittenborn. 1961.
The circus in the mist. New York: World Pub. Co. 1969.
The elephant's wish. Cleveland: World Pub. Co. 1959.
What I'd like to be. London (23 Lower Belgrave Street, London SW1): Printed and made in Italy and published by the Harvill Press. 1945.
Jimmy has lost his cap: where can it be? New York: W. Collins. 1980.
Who's there?: Open the door. New York: W. Collins. 1980.
Romilda the frog. Mantova: Maurizio Corraini. 1997.
The lorry driver. London: Harvill Press. 1945.
Bruno Books. Harvill Press: London; printed in Italy. 1953. Compilation of What I'd like to be; The Lorry driver; and Georgie has lost his cap.
Animals for sale. Mantova: Maurizio Corraini. 2004.
From Afar it was an Island, Maurizio Corraini s.r.l. 2006
Bruno Munari: From Afar It Is An Island, Emme Edizioni, Milan, 1971

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)
Marconi award of the Brera Academy (1992)
Cavaliere di Gran Croce (1994)
Honorable partnership of Harvard University

Major collections and holdings

Collezione Miroslava Hajek, Novara, Italy
Collezione Fondazione Danese-Vodoz, Milan, Italy
Collezione Angelo & Silvia Calmarini, Milan, Italy
Collezione Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive, New York
Collezione Dabbeni, Lugano, Switzerland
Collezione Bruno Munari. Museo Galleria del Design e dell’Arredamento, Milan,Italy.[3]
Fondazione Casaperlarte, Cantù, Italy
Fondo Munari CSAC, University of Parma, Italy
Museum of Modern Art, New York

Works by Bruno Munari

Order by

1950

120 x 120 cm

1991

180 x 50 cm

1800,00 €

1991

35 x 180 cm

1500,00 €

1991

35 x 180 cm

1500,00 €

1987

70 x 70 cm

SOLD OUT

1987

70 x 70 cm

SOLD OUT

1987

70 x 70 cm

SOLD OUT

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