Plus and Minus by Bruno Munari
Languages: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese texts
Publisher: Corraini Edizioni
The visual game “Plus and minus” consists of 72 cards, each having a different image. Many of these images (48) have a transparent background and can thus be superimposed to compose other more complex images and stimulate the child’s creative capacities. Superimposing some of the tree images creates a wood. Superimposing on the wood the image of rain or that of the sun or moon, or of a flight of birds, or of a passing dog, and so on, the total image can be continuously modified.
In 1968 Munari published Nella nebbia di Milano [The circus in the mist], in which he created fascinating images by using his own way the “see-through“ effect. The bright colours of the circus are preceded and followed by the veiled dullness of Milan’s fog: in this vague environment the blurred outlines of the figures become clear by leafing through the book. Two years later, in 1970, Munari dealt again with the theme of transparency by conceiving with Giovanni Belgrano Più e meno [Plus and minus].
Not a book but a game, composed by several images on transparent backgrounds, which can be superimposed at one’s pleasure by adding or removing them. In these square cards the colour is perfectly balanced with the drawing, and together they simply tell stories, which are bonded together by the imagination of the players: the role of the authors is just to give different suggestions to let the players compose countless stories. Following the direction outlined in Corraini by Aconà Biconbì, Plus and Minus continues to discover the domain of artists’ objects and games, developing thus this particular collection. On the occasion of the centenary of Bruno Munari’s birth, Corraini completes in fact the reprint of his most representative games: after Aconà Biconbì (1961) and Plus and Minus (1970), is coming soon ABC con fantasia (1960).
Bruno Munari (1907-1998) has been no doubt the most eclectic italian artist-designer. Since his very first experiences in the 30s among the artists of the Second Futurism, he always dedicated his creative activity to every form of “experimentation”, with a particular attention to the world of children and their games and toys. His works in the fields of painting, sculpture, design, photography and didactics cross their languages and poetics following the path of his very personal inventiveness.