Poster, Alberto Flammer/Flavio Paolucci, Museo Cantonale d'Arte, Lugano, Switzerland, 1988
Bruno Monguzzi, a Swiss graphic and exhibition designer, received this important commission from the Museo Cantonale d’Arte. The museum, established in 1987 as the primary cultural institution for the Ticino region of Switzerland, tasked Monguzzi with creating a logo as the museum’s “public face,” and with providing a “public voice” for the museum through creating different posters for each exhibition and program. Monguzzi’s impressive posters for the Museo Cantonale d’Arte have been described as designs epitomizing a rationalist, visual poetry. After a decade of successful designer-museum collaboration, the Museo Cantonale d’Arte held an exhibition celebrating Monguzzi’s designs for the museum. Monguzzi’s work on visual communication materials for the Museo Cantonale d’Arte continued into the first years of the 21st century, and is regarded as among the chief achievements of his career.
Monguzzi was born in Mendrisio, in the Ticino region of Switzerland, in 1941. He studied in Geneva and London, spent part of his early career in at the studio of Antonio Boggeri, in Milan. The inspiration of the experimental and visually-daring work of the avant garde designers Herbert Bayer, El Lissitsky, Jan Tschichold, Piet Zwart, Paul Schuitema, Ladislav Sutnar, Theo van Doesburg, and Kirill Zdanevich were vital to the development of Monguzzi’s own typographic applications and designs for a dynamic graphic language. In 1965, he moved to Montreal in order to design nine pavilions for Expo 1967. In his designs for the pavilions, Monguzzi applied ideas about three-dimensional structure and perception as a way to meet the challenges of both creating universal forms of communication and contextualized environments for an international audience.
In 1968, he returned to Milan, where he established his own design studio. In 1971, he received the Bodoni Prize for his contributions to Italian graphic design. That same year, he relocated to Lugano, Switzerland, when he joined the faculty of the Lugano School of Design to teach courses in the psychology of perception and typographic design. From 1986 to 1991, Monguzzi served as art consultant to the architecture and design magazine Abitare, published in Milan. Monguzzi’s work on the graphic identity and visual communications program for the Musée de Orsay in Paris (1986) led to his work for the Museo Cantonale d’Arte.
This is one of two posters for the Museo Cantonale d’Arte proposed for acquisition. Together, they would be the first examples of work by Monguzzi in the museum’s collection, and would join posters by important and influential Swiss graphic designers such as Armin Hofmann, Josef Müller-Brockmann, and Wolfgang Weingart.
March 26, 2002
Its dimensions are
H x W: 128 × 90.5 cm (50 3/8 × 35 5/8 in.)
Cite this object as
Poster, Alberto Flammer/Flavio Paolucci, Museo Cantonale d'Arte, Lugano, Switzerland, 1988; Switzerland; offset lithograph on paper; H x W: 128 × 90.5 cm (50 3/8 × 35 5/8 in.); Gift of Elaine Lustig Cohen; 2002-15-3