Curated by: Marcella Cossu con Nunzia Fatone
With the focus on Attilio Cassinelli , the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art dedicates for the first time an exhibition to the language of illustration.
Illustrator, poet, storyteller in images, lover by direct admission of “simple things” , Attilio Cassinelli has the great merit of having enhanced visual communication aimed at younger children thanks to his singular capacity for synthesis.
After his beginnings as an advertising graphic designer he began in 1965, with La casa sull'albero, on the occasion of the Bologna Children's Book Fair, a long and particularly fruitful career as an illustrator and editor, collaborating with the Giunti publishing house in the field of stories for childhood and the invention of board games. A salient feature of the unstoppable artist today ninety-six is, in the field of illustration for children, having given life, again starting from the sixties, to a "bestiary" - the Paper Zoo, the Pericles dog, the Bear , Rosso, the Topini and much more - feeding throughout his career the main strands of animalism, trees and nature, already in the awareness of the issues relating to environmental protection, the same that led him to collaborate with photographer Sebastião Salgado for the libretto
O tesouro escondido.
Attilio - his stage name - after having nourished the imagination of several generations, still today proposes stories and protagonists with renewed inventive verve, without ever losing that cloisonneur spirit which, through the black and marked outlines, powerfully cuts out the two-dimensional figure at the bottom of the white or monochrome page.
Over time Attilio returns to his favorite themes, Pinocchio in the lead of all, and unravels the famous story not only in the tables of his lucky editions, but in a series of completely unpublished studies and sketches, in which the puppet, the Cricket, the Fairy , the Whale and all the supporting actors live on an inextinguishable return, in a feast of colors and shapes reminiscent of Fortunato Depero's play machines. Like all the greats, and the "classics", he identifies himself in the themes and, in his case, in the characters of the illustrated stories to which he has given life without ever ceasing to follow their evolution over the years.
The Evergreen exhibition. Storia di Attilio exhibits over 80 works including drawings, original studies, books and models, mostly unpublished materials, coming from the artist's magical creative "cave", with a short section dedicated to advertising graphics from the Sixties (the "Cynar" , "National" cigarettes) and caricaturism (his Totò is memorable) and then focus on the evolution that has taken place up to now within the encyclopedic "bestiary", inside and outside the two Giunti del Pinocchio editions, up to the Mini Fiabe and Mini Stories of the most recent period for the Lapis editions. Among the works on display, the unpublished tables of 1981 by Pinocchio; the fairy tales of the lucky cycles The Twelve Months and The Wood Necklace of the Sixties; the “senza parole”, the first silent book experiences in 1975 with the drawings “at child's height”; the leporello books with collages created between '75 and '78; the animals of the Zoo
of paper invented by Attilio in 1967; the tables for Pinocchio, the latest work that combines the passion for animals with that for Collodi's puppet to which Attilio Cassinelli is dedicating himself in collaboration with the Lapis publishing house, which is about to be released. Of particular interest is the film insert in which the saturated and bright color of the illustrations is particularly enhanced by the expansion of the visual screen, as well as by the voice of the author himself, an extraordinary reader and commentator of his own cases and of Pinocchio.