Alla Faccia! Esercizi di stile, Bruno Munari

Bruno Munari (b. Milan, 1907-1988), a brilliant painter, designer and artist, invites his readers (of any age) to peep inside his book Alla Faccia – which literally means “to the face” or “wow” – by looking through the holes in its cover, urging us to discover what lies underneath. The author then focuses on the meaning of the word “face” and, thanks to an elegant literary exercise, provides us with a highly entertaining list. Lastly, the author’s clever experimentation with various kinds of “lines,” which he disassembles and regroups, results in endless faces with totally different features.

In his creative journey in search of lines and “illegible” scribbles, Bruno Munari encourages us to consider all possible media as inspiration and material for artistic expression. He thereby frees us from acquired concepts of symmetries and accepted perspectives and transforms us into champions of learning by authorizing us to interact and experiment with what is transmitted to us and alter it as we see fit and as we please.

In addition to its being an intellectual game, dedicating attention “to the face” in this “era of COVID,” is practically an imperative, as it is important to celebrate our physiognomy. After all, even if it is partly covered by a mask, which now is no longer just a metaphorical one, every face has its own identity and story to tell.

Bruno Munari
Alla Faccia!
Mantova: Corraini, 2017, 6th reprint
ISBN: 9788886250269
Italian edition
64 pages