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Munari Polytechnic: a genius, a friend! Exhibition at Museo del Novecento in Milan

Here I am, Milan, August 2, the weather is so hot, but at the museum is great! Artrust could not miss it and neither do I, so… 

The Museo del Novecento in Milan hosts the exhibition “Munari Polytechnic” and a photographic exhibition in the Focus Hall, dedicated to Munari. 

Born in 1907, Bruno Munari spent his youth in the Polesine and, in 1926, returned to Milan where he met and collaborated with artists from the Futurist movement.

In 1929, he worked in advertising and later, in 1930, he separated from the Futurist movement and started to create his Useless Machines. In 1948 he participated in the founding of the Movimento Arte Concreta (MAC) with G.Monnet, G.Dorfles and A. Soldati. During the Fifties, he created works of various inspirations: Negativi-positivi, Forchette Parlanti, Fossili del 2000, and many others. In 1962 he organized the Mostra Arte Programmata at the Olivetti showroom in Milan and a decade later, in 1974 presented “Colori nella curva di Peano” inspired by the work of the famous Italian mathematician. He created artworks until the last, Munari died in 1998.

In the city of Milan, the artist attends cafès, the famous Brera district, studios and art galleries, and all become a place of study. The city of Milan grows, changes and Munari with it.

At the Museo del Novecento in Milan, visiting the exhibition dedicated to Munari allows me to know him as a “researcher” of forefront ideas and solutions, where art and science intersect. I am struck by the Useless Machine, 1947, exhibited in another room, which in a certain way “prepares” the visitors to the Show.

The works on display come from the Jacqueline Vodoz-Bruno Danese Foundation, from the collection of Museo del Novecento and from the ISISUF archive (International Institute of Futurism Studies), all expressing Munari’s capability to transpose, study and reworking the ideas of the artistic periods in the course of his personal life.

The Focus dedicated to the artist offers a series of photographs that tell different aspects of his personality. They speak of his creativity, his experience, his inevitable irony that unexpectedly becomes a unique expression, opposed to the inflexible “teaching” part of his person. The images of Munari immortalized by his collaborators and friends convey serenity, hilarity, tenderness. Tenderness that is palpable at the end of the path, with the last portrait he asked his friend Atto shortly before his death.

I continue with emotion, here’s another beautiful Useless Machine which greets me at the entrance to the room dedicated to Munari.

The works mark the time, the creativity years of the artist. Between 1950 and 1970, Munari focused on the machines. Later he created an archeology of the future using “fossils from 2000”, followed by the works Bambù, Curve di Peano, the Collage Gran lusso, Guardiamoci negli occhi, Colori rotanti, and again a Useless Machine.

A true wonder! I keep looking, I am amazed and I enjoy it.

A true wonder! I keep looking, I am amazed and I enjoy it. Munari is unique, clever and ironic. I think about how his ideas and work have been a source of inspiration in many areas: just think about the design of home objects, car, decoration, toys.

The exhibition will remain open until 09.07.2014, it doesn’t have a catalog. The curator of the exhibition gather testimonies of those who knew or worked with Munari, and then a book will be published for the end of the show. (I must not lose it!)

Munari was an artist and designer, interested in various fields such as graphic design, painting, photography, advertising, teaching. Above all, he have always been interested in the world of children and their games, not only to entertain but to teach them how to think, develop and use their imagination and creativity.

“Imagination is a faculty of the spirit able to invent mental images different from the reality of the particulars or the overall: images that may also be unrealisable in practice. Creativity is a productive capacity where imagination and reason are connected so the result that one obtains is always realisable in practice” B. Munari

Ed ancora:

“There’s always an old lady who deals with children grimacing and saying stupid things with an informal language full of ciccò and coccò and piciupaciù. Children usually look sternly at these people who have grown old in vain; they do not understand what they want and go back to their games, simple and very serious” B. Munari

These words are the basis of the method used in our workshops!

A beautiful exhibition, a new experience for cultural and personal enrichment and a confirmation that the Munari pedagogical method is the right choice for Artrust’ workshops!

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