Bruno Munari (1907 - 1998)
Born 24 October, Milan. After a few years his family moves to the Polesine area southwest of Venice where the artist spends his youth.
Having returned to Milan, Munari immediately comes into contact with members of the Futurist movement.
Starts to exhibit his work in the collective shows of the Futurist group in Italy and Europe.
With Aligi Sassu, Munari signs the manifesto 'Dynamism and Muscular Painting', celebrating a new mechanical world with juvenile enthusiasm.
Starts to work in advertising. Along with Gino Severini, Luigi Russolo, Fortunato Depero, Giacomo Balla, Enrico Prampolini and others, he participates in the collective exhibition Peintres Futuristes Italiens held at the Galerie 23 in Paris. Contributes to the foundation of the Lombardy Radio-Futurist Group which makes its debut with a group show in Varese.
Produces the Aerial Machine and begins to design his Useless Machines. Participates in the XVII Venice Biennale. With Ricas (Riccardo Castagnedi) Munari opens a graphic studio named Studio R+M and begins to collaborate with several magazines such as La Lettura, Natura, L'Ufficio Moderno and L'Ala d'Italia.
Participates in the I Rome Quadriennale.
Participates in the XVIII Venice Biennale.
Photograms, photomontages and photocollages exhibited in an exhibition of Futurist photography organised by F. T. Marinetti in Rome.
Exhibits his first Useless Machines in Futurist exhibitions, attracting the attention of Depero and Marinetti. Participates in the XIX Venice Biennale. Purchases the only painting sold at Kandinsky's first exhibition in Italy, held at the Galleria del Milione in Milan.
With Ricas, Munari becomes co-director of the magazine Ufficio Moderno. Starts to collaborate with Studio Boggeri and publishes the book Palette of Typographical Possibilities. Participates in the II Rome Quadriennale.
Participates in the XX Venice Biennale.
Illustrates Marinetti's Poem of the Milk Dress.
Works as the graphic director of the magazine Tempo. Participates in the III Rome Quadriennale.
Exhibition of Metaphysical Objects at Milan's Galleria del Milione, where the poet Salvatore Quasimodo, who will later win the Nobel Prize for Literature, also presents his work.
Publishes the book Munari's Machines.
Domus publishes his book Photochronicles. Solo exhibition of abstract paintings held at Galleria Ciliberti, Milan.
Using the spring-driven movement of an alarm clock, Munari designs the kinetic 'multiple' X Hour, which will be produced by Danese of Milan in 1963.
At the first Paris Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, an exhibition focusing on concrete art, Munari exhibits the environmental piece Concave-convex.
Participates in the exhibition Abstract and Concrete Art in Milan, the first international show to be organized in Europe since the end of the war.
Participates in the foundation of the Movimento Arte Concreta (M.A.C.) with Gianni Monnet, Gillo Dorfles and Atanasio Soldati. Displays Useless Machines and the Concave-convex at his solo exhibition at the Galleria Borromini in Milan. Begins the series of paintings entitled Negative-positives in which the distinction between foreground and background is annulled, creating a sense of perceptual instability.
For the Italian company Pirelli, Munari designs Meo the Cat, a posable polyurethane foam toy.
Continuing his work with M.A.C., Munari produces his Light Projections by employing transparencies. Solo exhibition of Illegible Books at the Salto bookshop in Milan. The books are conceived of as unique, wordless pieces telling stories through images, lines, colours, torn pages, transparencies, cotton threads and other pull-out elements.
Begins the Arrhythmic Machine series, in which chance is introduced by the use of clockwork elements. Solo exhibition of Found Objects at the Galleria dell'Annunciata in Milan, where the collage Fragments of Posters found in Rue Monsieur le Prince, in Paris, on a Wooden Fence, a bit Washed-out by Rain is displayed.
First Direct Projections shown in public in Milan at Studio B24. Begins to employ a polaroid filter to produce Projections of Polarised Light.
Wins the first Compasso d'oro (Golden Compass Award) for Zizì the Monkey, a flexible toy made in expanded polyurethane foam.
Exhibition Two Graphic Designers with Alvin Lustig at MoMA, New York, where Munari presents his Illegible Books and Direct Projections.
Begins to produce the series of works Theoretical Reconstruction of Imaginary Objects Based on Residual Fragments of Uncertain Origin and of Unknown Usage, started in Panarea in 1955 with the invention of an Imaginary Museum of the Aeolian Islands. First Polarised Projections shown in Milan at Studio B24.
Creates the Speaking Forks and exhibits his Travel Sculptures – portable sculptures made in foldable coloured cardboard – at Galleria Montenapoleone in Milan.
Starts to produce the series Fossils of the Year Two Thousand, compositions obtained from industrial detritus. Presents the 'multiple' Continuous Structures in Paris for Edition M.A.T., produced by Daniel Spoerri.
Exhibits in group shows of kinetic art organised by Pontus Hulten at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm and the Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek.
Organises the exhibition Programmed Art at the Olivetti showroom in Milan.
Munari becomes the first artist to experiment with the creative possibilities of xerox machines, producing unique artworks entitled Original Xerographs by means of the movement of images during the photocopying process.
Munari designs a Fountain of 5 Water Drops for Tokyo. Produces the limited edition kinetic work Tetracone.
Participates in the Venice Biennale. Solo show at the Howard Wise Gallery, New York.
Holds a series of lectures in visual communication at Harvard University, Cambridge (USA). Publishes the Illegible Book N.Y. 1 for MoMA.
Produces the 'multiple' Flexy for the Danese company.
Participates in the event Urban Field held in Como, with the performance Making the Air Visible and the creation of polarised projections onto moving screens.
Solo exhibition of Illegible Writings at Galleria Sincron in Brescia.
Starts the series of works Colours in Peano's Curve, inspired by the work of the famous Italian mathematician, at Galleria Sincron in Brescia. Directs the working team who will design the new logo of the Lombardy Region.
Solo exhibition Oil on Canvas at Galleria Sincron.
Produces aerial structures entitled Threadweights with tubes and cables for the Galleria Sincron.
Solo room at the Venice Biennale with the series Oil on Canvas. Anthological exhibition at Palazzo Reale in Milan. Exhibition Projects and Objects at Studio UXA, Novara, curated by Miroslava Hajek.
Anthological exhibitions at the Museum of Jerusalem and the University of Genoa, where Munari is conferred with an Honoris Causa Degree in Architecture.
For the Galleria Sincron Munari produces the series of works entitled High Tension, sculptures linked to the Tensostructures produced during the 1930s.
Anthological exhibition Bruno Munari Unexplored Zones. Works 1933-1994 at Studio UXA, Novara, curated by Miroslava Hajek. Presents the series of works entitled Trees at the Galleria Corraini, Mantua.
Solo exhibition at Museum für Gestaltung, Zurich.
Exhibition of 'original xerographs' entitled Portraits and Self Portraits of the artist's collector friends at the Galleria Sincron. Solo exhibition entitled Installations at the Museum of Modern Art in Klenova (Czech Republic).
Munari dies in Milan on 30 September.
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Installation at Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art
London September - December 2012
Photo by ©Pierangelo Parimbelli