LE OPERE

BRUNO MUNARI

In an interview conducted in 1992 and aired in August 1993, Bruno Munari, with his gentle voice, explains the meaning of his name in Japanese, where MU means nothing and NARI' to do, therefore, MAKING FROM SCRATCH.
Munari loved Japan, and was, and still is, much loved by the Japanese. And this making from scratch is not only an happy and marvelous nomen-omen, but it seems to represent the intimate essence of much of the work of the artist.
What is it, if not a making from scratch, the simple gesture of folding a cardboard to make a travel sculpture? And again, we come back to Japan, with the practice of origami. And is it not perhaps a silly thing to take a sock and get a lamp out of it, or add two bows to a brushstroke to get the picture of a pretty girl? Not to mention the forks that simply folded in some parts becomes gesticulating hands.
In his “Empire of the signs” Roland Barthes, the great intellectual so attracted by the Japanese culture and aesthetics, writes: "... and It may be that what in Zen is called Satori and that the westerners can not translate that with vaguely Christian terms (illumination, revelation, intuition) is nothing more than a panic suspension of language, white that erases in us the kingdom of codes.
"Even so, Munari is pushing himself to the abolition of linguistic codes in his unreadable books, wordless pages, as well as words are the white pages of “ Cappuccetto bianco”, a delightful book that only he could think and realize.
Never as in this case appoints sunt consequentia rerum, and no one like Munari deserves MAKING FROM SCRATCH.
And art, after all, what's more?

Sergio Vanni

 

BIOGRAPHY


Bruno Munari was born in Milan in 1907
In his prolific, 70-year career, Bruno Munari became known for various contributions to art, industrial design, film, architecture, art theory, and technology—including an early model of the portable slide-projector. He liked to (falsely) claim that his name meant “to make something out of nothing” in Japanese. Munari’s principles and beliefs were built upon his early involvement in the Futurist movement, which he joined at the age of 19 using the pseudonym “Bum.” During the 1930s, Munari began to move towards Constructivism, particularly with his kinetic sculptures, Useless Machines (begun 1933), meant to transform or complicate their surrounding environments. Throughout his career, Munari was captivated by both a sense of whimsy and the manipulation of artificial light. After World War II, Munari also developed radical innovation in graphics, typography, and book publishing, through the latter creating pieces he would call Useless Books
When he was just twenty, he joined the second-generation Milanese Futurist Movement and began his eclectic activities in the fields of painting, design, educational and kinetic experimentation, graphic design, advertising and photography
In 1948 he founded the MAC (Concrete Art Movement) together with Monnet, Dorfles and Soldati. His numerous personal exhibitions underlined his enormous creativity. In 1949, at the Libreria Salto in Milan, he presented Useless Machines and in 1950 Illegible Books; in 1951, at the Saletta dell'Elicottero in Milan, he displayed his Collezione di oggetti trovati; and in 1952, at the Galleria Bergamini in Milan, he exhibited his Quadri quadrati plastici.
In 1950 Munari began his Positive Negative paintings, which he displayed the same year in Paris.
He took part in numerous collective exhibitions, including one in 1952 at the Saletta dell'Elicottero where he presented Materie plastiche in forme concrete with works in celluloid, plexiglas and plastic laminates
In April 1954 Munari worked together with Dorfles on the exhibition Colore per le carrozzerie di auto, held at the Salone dell'Automobile in Turin. The same year, he was one of the members of the Italian Groupe ESPACE.
He won international acclaim for his work in the field of design and his studies of art, play and creative learning that aimed to respect the intelligence of children.
He died in Milan on 30 September 1998

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