Bruno Munari was one of the most important and eclectic twentieth-century European artists. Dubbed the «Leonardo and Peter Pan» of contemporary art, he pioneered what would later be labelled kinetic art, playing a key role in the constitution and definition of the aesthetic programmes of groups such as Movimento Arte Concreta and Programmed Art. He became an internationally recognized name in the field of industrial design, winning the prestigious «Compasso d’Oro» prize four times, while also being a prominent figure in Italian graphic design, working for magazines such as Tempo and Domus, as well as renowned publishing companies such as Einaudi and Bompiani. He left an indelible mark as an art pedagogue and popularizer with his famous 1970s artistic laboratories for children and was the author of numerous books, ranging from essays on art and design to experimental books.
Capturing a resurgent interest in Munari at the international level, the exceptional array of critical voices in this volume constitutes an academic study of Munari of a depth and range that is unprecedented in any language, offering a unique analysis of Munari’s seven-decade-long career. Through original archival research, and illuminating and generative comparisons with other artists and movements both within and outside Italy, the essays gathered here offer novel readings of more familiar aspects of Munari’s career while also addressing those aspects that have received scant or no attention to date.
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Pierpaolo Antonello is Reader in Italian Literature and Culture at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of St John’s College.
Matilde Nardelli is Senior Lecturer in Historical and Contextual Studies at the University of West London and Teaching Fellow in History of Art at University College London.
Margherita Zanoletti holds a PhD in Italian Studies from the University of Melbourne and currently works at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan.