Franco Grignani (1908-1999) is one of the most respected artists in the Italian post-war art scene. A well-known graphic designer and designer (among other things, he invented the Woolmark logo), Grignani is less known - especially abroad - for his pictorial activity, even though he dedicated over forty years of his life to it with perseverance and passion. In recent years, however, he has been the object of a renewed interest that reached its climax with the retrospective exhibition organised this year at the Estorick Collection in London.
After a period of Futurism-influenced training, from the 1950s Grignani focused on the theme of visual perception, anticipating optical art research by nearly a decade and working in parallel with artists such as Victor Vasarely. In the first works of that decade, Grignani experimented with a new technique using industrial textured glass to achieve an effect of vibration, or photo emulsion transfers onto canvas.
From the end of the 1950s onwards, he used more traditional techniques, although his research on visual perception shows exemplary consistency and rigour. His work is contemporary with, if not preceding that of other optical art protagonists such as Bridget Riley, Francois Morellet, Walter Le Blanc, Jesus Raphael Soto, and Carlos Creuz- Diez, with whom he shared a scientific approach to artistic creation based on the principles of Gestalt psychology.
The aim of this project is to present a small but significant anthology of Grignani's work, with particular focus on the artist's earliest works.