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  • Osart Gallery

Magdalo Mussio: poet writer artist

Magdalo Mussio has dedicated to words lifelong research.

He was born in 1925 and died in 2006. During his life, he has been involved in many fields: he was film director, managing editor, writer, animation movie author, and artist.

He developed his activities across the International Verbo Visual Neo-Avantgarde.

In Italy, the movement grew across many experiences, magazines, and artist-run spaces, from the Fifties on. Some examples are the magazines "Ana Eccetera," founded by Anna and Martino Oberto, and "Linea Sud," by Emilio Villa, Mario Diacono, Stelio Maria Martini, and many others. Other remarkable samples are Mercato del Sale and Centro Tool, spaces run by Ugo Carrega in Milan, and the Literary Avantgarde movement called Group 63.

Magdalo Mussio has been editor-in-chief of the magazine "Marcatrè" for the publisher Roberto Lerici in Milan since 1965. Some members of Group 63 contributed to its definition. Protagonists of many cultural fields, such as Eugenio Battisti (who was also the director), Gillo Dorfles, Umberto Eco, Carla Lonzi, Renato Barilli, Paolo Portoghesi, Lea Vergine, Daniela Palazzoli, and many others, wrote the texts.

Concerning the graphic choices for the covers of Marcatrè, when interviewed by Elisa Fongaro, Mussio remembers that he looked at the Russian Avantgarde. The revolutionary graphic designers were the first who adopted letters in different sizes and fonts, moved by the urgency of communicating. Looking at that lesson, Mussio and the graphic designer Giulio Confalonieri conceived the title of the magazine written with some capital letters in various sizes. It was a success.

Speaking about himself, Mussio remembers he obeyed derailments and conditioning, but he never stopped researching on words, to whom he demanded to tell about the emptiness he felt.

He adopted the colors of nature and writing: white of the page, black of the pen, the rust as a sign of the time, red and gold to evoke the beloved Byzantines, and tannin (obtainable only from nature).

His research lays at the crossover between various media. Usually, it is about memory and imagination and includes old, shredded photographs, collages, and writing.

His graphemes register a thought that goes across the surfaces. Photography has to do with the interest in shadows. The shadow recurs several times in his titles, and it is proof of existence under the sunlight.

Lamberto Pignotti invented for his friend Magdalo Mussio the definition of "verbal painting," which somehow reverse the formulation of visual poetry. His notes are already literature, his subtle signs on the surfaces are already painting.


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