Franco Grignani: Art as Design, 1950-1990

Exhibition, Estorick Collection, London, UK.


From July 5, 2017 until September 10, 2017
Franco Grignani was an influential artist and graphic designer whose dazzling works anticipated Op Art. Featured here are around 130 pieces, including his graphic design projects. Like many experimentalists, Grignani was briefly a liated with the Futurist movement. Later his work turned toward geometric abstraction, abandoning any lingering figurative elements. He studied both mathematics and architecture before opening a studio in Milan that specialised in exhibition design and graphics, and produced advertising campaigns for a variety of high-profile companies, including Pirelli and Alfieri & Lacroix, while also designing covers for a number of science-fiction novels published by Penguin Books in the late 1960s.
Best known for his swirling ‘Woolmark’ logo, Franco Grignani (1908-1999) was an influential artist and graphic designer whose dazzling works anticipated Op Art. This exhibition features around 130 paintings and works on paper, including his graphic design projects many of which are on loan from private collections and from the Manuela Grignani Sirtoli Archive.
Like many experimental Italian painters, Grignani was briefly affiliated with the Futurist movement. He exhibited as part of the group from the mid-1920s, and in 1933 participated in the huge Great National Futurist Exhibition in Rome; however, most of his works from this period are now lost. After 1935 his work turned toward geometric abstraction, abandoning any lingering figurative elements.
Grignani studied both mathematics and architecture between the late 1920s and the early 1930s, before opening a studio in Milan that specialized in exhibition design and graphics. Over the years he produced advertising campaigns for a variety of high-profile companies, including Pirelli and Alfieri & Lacroix, and designed covers for a number of science fiction novels published by Penguin Books in the late 1960s.