The exhibition inaugurated at the Villa dei Capolavori, home of the Magnani-Rocca Foundation, dedicated to one of the greatest creative geniuses of the twentieth century, is a dialogue between different disciplines, in which we are all invited to participate

If I had the gift of the Pied Piper, I would travel far and wide to lead women, men and children to the Villa of Masterpieces, home of the Fondazione Magnani-Rocca in Mamiano di Traversetolo, just outside Parma.

There are two reasons: to visit the recently inaugurated Bruno Munari everything exhibition to dive, get lost and find yourself in the incredible creative world of Bruno Munari and enjoy the sumptuous charm of the villa and the his collection belonged to the musicologist and art critic Luigi Magnani.

However, I want to think positively and believe that the sum of these two reasons has such a value as to be enough to attract visitors.

Bruno Munari everything is for everyone

“More than an artist, a man, more than works of art, the expression of a life” are the words of Marco Meneguzzo , curator of the exhibition together with Stefano Roffi (scientific director of the Magnani-Rocca Foundation) who best summarize the sense of openness and welcome of an event which, I insist, is truly aimed at everyone.

The works of Bruno Munari on display are over 250, divided into five sections not by type or chronological order, but by attitudes and concepts, in order to be able to show the connections and design relationships between objects that are apparently very different from each other.

The common thread that unites them is the curator's original intent, that is to present Munari's works as if visitors were entering his studio.

Meneguzzo says: “There isn't everything, but there is a lot. It is a crowded exhibition that showcases Munari's continuous work, his tireless need to be amazed and to share the same amazement with others. Just like when you enter an artist's studio, you can wander among the sketches, graphics, objects placed side by side and superimposed for a few minutes, or for a few hours. My wish is that those who come to see the exhibition leave exhausted, because they can find a world in each piece".

The five sections of the exhibition

Being in time: the room that welcomes those who enter the exhibition is the only one that correlates the dates with Munari's works; here, in fact, one comes into contact with thephase beginning of its production and its formation. Munari was perfectly immersed in his time and, like all young people, absorbed everything that happened around him like a sponge. And it is here that you have the privilege of admiring "Buccia di Eva", a work that comes out of a private home for the first time to be shown to the public.

From two to three to four dimensions is the title of the second section where the suggestion is: begin to experiment, by observing it, the sense of open-mindedness of Munari. He was convinced, for example, that the world was not made up of two or three separate dimensions, but that basic harmony reigned, so one could go from a flat surface to three-dimensionality without interrupting anything. A folded sheet becomes a sculpture.

Experiencing the limit. To what extent does a triangle remain a triangle? It is the one drawn with the ruler on the paper, but also that of the organic structure of a plant, even if the lines of the triangles are not straight or regular. Yet we call it a triangle.

The idea of this collection of works was to share Munari's research aspect, always pushed towards the limit, a constant characteristic of his creations. A book is a volume of written pages, but a book can also be an object of the same shape that is given to a child who cannot read: inside instead of written words, perhaps he will find a feather and this discovery will teach him that a book is always a container of surprises.

Annul time: it also means acting in time. The protagonist of this section is a video from 1960 which shows the filming of an athlete doing a somersault in slow motion, lasting three minutes. Even without knowing it, you start watching the video a little distracted, and then you can't take your eyes off it. The man begins to move, his legs leave the ground, his back bends, but everything happens slowly, so slowly that you have time to ask yourself, will he really make it? What will happen now? And now?

Discover the world. It is the part of the exhibition that concerns pedagogy, teaching for children, one of the most in-depth and most loved aspects of Munari's work in the world.

They are books, letters, objects, created with materials that are not usual for those same objects: children can be taught more easily, not having yet internalized stereotypes, to look at the things of the world with an open mind, starting from themselves and allowing themselves the freedom to continue to discover things within things.

A world without borders

The curator explains: "For Munari every gesture, life itself, is a creative moment. The simple act of peeling an apple, if observed closely, savored over time, can be a creative moment. This unique, personal gaze has allowed Munari to create graphics, sculptures and objects that often lead to a smile as the first reaction. Irony is always there, but it is never an end in itself , through irony the artist tries to get around our defenses and convey his message to us: the world is much larger than we believe."

The exhibition “Bruno Munari tutto” concentrates seventy years of ideas and works - Munari began his activity during the so-called Second Futurism, around 1927 - in all fields of creativity, from art to design, from graphics to pedagogy.

And speaking of this last science, the choice of the term ALL refers precisely to its design method, refined over the years, with major courses in American universities and with the most ambitious project, which is that of laboratories tostimulate childhood creativity, which since 1977 have still been at the forefront of pre-school and early school age teaching.

Practical information

Where: the exhibition “Bruno Munari tutto” is set up at the Magnani-Rocca Foundation, via Fondazione Magnani-Rocca 4, Mamiano di Traversetolo (Parma).

When: from 16 March to 30 June 2024.

Times: from Tuesday to Friday 10am-6pm (the ticket office closes at 5pm) – Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10am-7pm (the ticket office closes at 6pm). Also open April 25th, May 1st, June 2nd. Closed Monday, open Easter Monday.

Group information and reservations:
tel. 0521 848327 / 848148

On Saturdays at 4.30pm and on Sundays and holidays at 11.30am, 4pm, 5pm, visit with a specialized guide; it is possible to book at, or show up at the museum entrance while places are available; cost €19 (entrance and guide).