Matt Mullican’s artwork, which is currently on view at Museion Passage, presents various ideas for our selection of books. The American artist’s project was based on the idea of engaging local people in Museion’s new location. The design for the fence around the new complex’s construction site provided insight into the institution, which, although still unbuilt, was already keen to demonstrate its future place in the local area and make its voice heard.
Fabiola Naldi discusses art created for and in public spaces. In her new book, she looks at twenty years of Blu’s drawing art and explains how urban surfaces are now often places created by artists and in which radical statements are made. Such artworks have triggered community action and have fostered the regeneration of abandoned urban districts.
In addition to these important issues, 102 Signs for a Museum Fence also highlights other interesting topics. Through a complex language of symbols and pictograms, the artist explains and brings order to our material and spiritual universe. It is this “cataloguing” know-how that we believe is evident in Hans Knapp’s art and that is masterfully condensed in his recently published artist’s book. Mullican’s cosmology also uses a range of shapes and colors to classify different “worlds” in a crescendo of layers and complex interpretation. This fascinating wordless language is also used by other artists, a few of whom we would like to introduce to you. These range from the profound cultural messages of designer Yang Liu’s pictograms and Bruno Munari’s stylized faces to the poetic, colorful shapes created by Leo Lionni.
Finally, at a time when facial expressions and verbal language have been significantly reduced because of our civic obligation to wear masks, the creative genius of Bruno Munari offers ways of communicating that replace words with a vast range of hand gesture, photographs and descriptions of which are contained in his classic dictionary.
Reading advice by Alessandra Riggione, Museion Biblioteca and Letizia Basso, Museion Bookshop
Little Blue and Little Yellow, Leo Lionni
The original edition of Little Blue and Little Yellow (McDowell Obolensky, New York, 1959) was Leo Lionni’s (1910 -1999) first children’s book. The original idea for it came to him on a long train ride to New York with his restless grandchildren, Pippo and Annie.
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.
More Details from an Imaginary Universe, Matt Mullican
In 2001, in cooperation with several major European museums, Museion devoted a solo exhibition to Matt Mullican. The show was accompanied by an extensive catalogue, which chronicled twenty years of the American artist’s work.
Conceived and designed with insight, acumen and her refreshing and entertaining graphic simplicity, Yang Liu’s (b. Beijing, 1976) sharp and bold pictograms explore prevailing differences and typical stereotypes on opposite sides of the globe with a keen and critical distance. At a graphic level, Yang Liu’s images are ...