Franco Grignani

Franco Grignani was an artist whose creative genius ranged from graphic design to photography, from design to art.

Born in 1908 and died in 1999, he spanned the entire twentieth century like a meteor, leaving a vast artistic legacy behind him.

Futuristic elements, such as the constant search for movement, through optical illusion, and, the predilection for abstract lines and shapes, for intricate geometric figures, for dark polygonal shapes contrasted with light geometric figures, for endlessly repeated patterns with a definite purpose, are blended with harmony and osmosis in his works.

Thanks to his multiple and often closely intertwined skills, he has been able to turn Italian Contemporary Art around, pushing it toward continuous abstract experimentation and making use of techniques related to design.

Central to his art was his interest in and exploration of the laws of Optics, of the interdependence of eye and mind.

For Grignani, it was crucial to push the viewer’s visual perception to the limit, to impress the viewer through optical illusion, to the point of the perception of evanescent and illusory entities beyond mere forms, to the perception of highly dreamlike entities.

An invitation, in other words, to know one’s senses and their limitations, but at the same time to indulge in the pleasure of illusions created by our minds and imaginations.

In this direction he contributed greatly to the birth of Op Art (Optical Art) in Italy in the 1970s.

Franco Grignani is  also remembered for the great innovative turn he gave to Advertising Design and graphic production at that time.

From his pen came the brands of well-known companies and products that we still identify today because of those distinctive logos.

However, the most famous label attached to his name and which we often wear unknowingly remains the one created to certify “Pure Virgin Wool,” and which is so reminiscent of the dynamic black-and-white form of some of his works.

Our gallery, in offering some of the artist’s works, has opted for some burnished brass laminate sculptures belonging to the same period  and again showing the artist’s abstract and dynamic experimentalism.

we find an echo of his passion for mathematics and geometry in the original titles chosen for the works, which range between triangulations, undulations, involutions, twists and plastic forms, again emphasizing the core of plasticity and movement in his art.

Among the sculptures, the one entitled “Plastic Form Generated from Flexible Ribbons,” which seems to spring directly from or be inspired by the Pure Virgin Wool brand, deserves special mention.  

Selected works