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One of my very old friends from the country, a certain Leonardo, born in a small village near Florence: Vinci (postal code 50059) was a very curious fellow… He would spend hours observing the plants…
Bruno Munari (1907-1998) has been no doubt the most eclectic italian artist-designer.
Since his very first experiences in the 30s among the artists of the Second Futurism, he always dedicated his creative activity to every form of “experimentation”, with a particular attention to the world of children and their games and toys. His works in the fields of painting, sculpture, design, photography and didactics cross their languages and poetics following the path of his very personal inventiveness.
Bruno Munari took a personal interest in the activities of the Corraini art gallery and publishing house for over twenty years so it is hardly surprising that his books occupy a special place in our catalogue. The latest Corraini logo is the work of Bruno Munari, inspired by a previous drawing by Roman artist Giosetta Fioroni.
Munari always paid special attention to the world of children. Never separating content from form and materials, what he designed were at once books, book-objects and games that would make us think.
In 1992 he created the Block Notes series for Corraini, an open collection of projects. These included creative examples of how to use art playfully and intelligently. The books in the series are characterized by their grey covers, pocket-size dimensions and the holes on the cover which prompt the reader to ‘wander in’ through to the book itself. Flight of Fancy, Alla faccia!, Pensare confonde le idee, Emozioni, Before the Drawing and the Sea as a Craftsman by Bruno Munari are just some of the most important titles in the block notes series.
Again with Corraini in 1994 was Favola delle favole made for and with children; then followed existing but unpublished stories such as Romilda the Frog (1997, created and drawn in 1958), and in completion of a series created in 1945, Goodnight Everyone (1997) and the Yellow Conjurer (1997).
Even while writing his books, however, he never neglected art. Around this time were his re-editions of the Useless Machines, the Negative Positive series, Travel Sculptures, Trees, Faces, Rotors and Forks.
The famous Libri illeggibili represent important examples of artists’ books of which the five titles in the MN series were expressly made for the Gallery and Corraini editori.
In recent years and since the centenary celebrations of Munari’s birth in October 2007, Corraini has promoted the work and figure of Bruno Munari with numerous exhibitions and other initiatives at home and abroad, teaming up with prestigious organizations including the Museo Archeologico in Bologna, the CSAC in Parma, the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Marseilles and the Museo Itabashi in Tokyo.
Constant and of fundamental importance over the years is the relationship with the Associazione Bruno Munari, with collectors and all those who worked with or put into practice the work of this great master.
The Corraini catalogue currently contains some 60 titles on and by Bruno Munari, from the classics In the darkness of the night and Circus in the Mist to the more recent Munari The Books and Verbale scritto. Gradual recovery and re-printing of the complete works of the most eclectic Italian artist-designer of the 20th century is continuing with a new edition of the historic games made for Danese and designed by Munari in the Sixties and Seventies.