Imago 15 (missing the Autostilea booklet, otherwise complete)

Regular price $75.00

Imago 15. 

Milano: Edizione Pininfarina, 1971.
Slipcase with wrap-around band, folder & loose sheets. 
Italian text. 

Very good. 

Missing 6) Autostilea, booklet with text by Giorgio Bocca, otherwise complete. 

Wrap-around band shows some soiling, chipping, tears, toning
and wrinkling to back. 
Slipcase has some edgewear, creasing and bowing
from being placed under undue pressure. 
Folder has toning to top as well as creasing & edgewear
from being placed under undue pressure. 
Loose sheets are generally Very good - Near fine, though some slight unobtrusive creasing, toning, and in the case of the "8) Autocompetizionea, large color poster of rally catwalk of burnt curves." isolated instances of slight burn marks and holes which are intentional, I assume. 

Overall presentable, albeit incomplete, copy of this scarce Italian design publication, this issue devoted to the automobile. 

Slipcase contains:

1) Imago, brochure illustrated in black and white with a presentation by Piero Racanicchi.
2) Autonatura, illustrated poster, by Pietro Gallina, text by Piero Racanicchi.
3) Automostroa, sculpture on cardboard by Armando Testa.
4) Autoricerca, envelope containing a folding folder with 8 black and white plates, text in Italian and English. Work by Ruggero Piccirilli.
5) Autolinea folding poster in b.w. and red with the reproduction of the wording A Linea Pininfarina. Work by Silvio Coppola.
7) Autogiocoa, brochure illustrated in color with photographs by Enzo Belfanti.
Text by Piero Chiara.
8) Autocompetizionea, large color poster of rally catwalk of burnt curves.

presents itself as a mysterious object, a black envelope hiding and protecting a coloured folder. A disappointing approach for a magazine that in its subtitle declares itself “for a new image.” But the unwitting reader, who was disconcerted at first contact, will then be amazed—as I was—by the quality of the printed matter when he opens the folder.
Perhaps it was the beauty of the images that remained in my eyes, or more likely it was the simple challenge of putting together all the issues, objects that are now very rare and very difficult to find in their original form, that first pushed me to collect them and then to plan a book that would present to the public all the extraordinary graphic objects published in the 14 issues, between 1960 and 1971.
But what is Imago? It is not easy to say. From a formal point of view, it is a magazine, albeit with a “fanciful” periodicity, since it came out when everything was ready and above all when there was money to print it. To be precise, Imago is a company magazine, a house organ, albeit a very unusual one, the tool invented to promote the services of Bassoli Fotoincisioni of Milan, a company specialising in the production of printing plates, by Raffaele Bassoli, its owner, and Michele Provinciali, a brilliant graphic designer, teacher, photographer, one of the most prominent figures on the Italian design scene in its heyday. But Imago is also, and at the same time, a repertoire of graphics, a magic box and the ideal synthesis of a business idea, in which a company with a need to advertise its production quality meets experimentation, creativity, research and design culture.
Raffaele Bassoli and Michele Provinciali, editorial and art directors of the magazine, published the first issue of Imago in May 1960, at the height of the economic boom, when Italy was a country where everything seemed possible and when Italian design was beginning the triumphal march that would lead it to invade the homes of half the world.
For Imago Provinciali wanted something different and developed an editorial project in which the figure of the graphic designer was not necessary, or not necessarily visible. Avoiding the emergence of his own sign, Provinciali assumes rather the role of curator and conceives a folder containing a heterogeneous set of printed matter, each an autonomous invention, distinct in form, support and layout. He wants each project to be a unique piece, a reflection or a look at an original subject chosen independently by its author.
Independent objects, not bound together, held together only by their packaging. Some are purely visual-material constructions, others are verbal-visual elaborations, with free associations of graphics, photographs, art reproductions and texts.
Browsing through the contents of the Imago folders, one finds single sheets folded in various ways, posters, small books, stapled files, made of cardboard and tissue paper, printed in black or in several colours. A virtuoso inventory of graphic solutions of great value, such as the 121 carabinieri or the cars designed, like the first ones, by the graphic artist “without a licence” Pino Tovaglia, the worn out soaps, the oversized railway ticket or “the nefarious containers of washing liquids, found unevenly distributed on the shoreline,” all works by Michele Provinciali, the Automostro by Armando Testa or the Ricostruzione teorica by Bruno Munari.
Imago was also a great showcase for talent, a meeting place that embodied and translated the spirit and initiatives that animated Milan in those years, a city undergoing great economic and building expansion but in which industry and culture sought each other out and met, and in which new paths for artistic and general cultural experimentation were opened. Graphic designers, writers, poets, photographers, illustrators, artists and even musicians, friends of Bassoli and more often of Provinciali, populated the lively world that revolved around the publication of Bassoli Fotoincisioni. An important role is certainly played by the writers: great names of Italian literature—Dino Buzzati, Piero Chiara, Giuseppe Pontiggia, Mario Soldati—but also authors less known to the general public, such as Raffaello Baldini, Aldo Borlenghi, Raffaele Carrieri, Sergio Garassini, Pino Pistorio and Domenico Tarizzo, who animate Imagowith an ironic, pungent writing, dealing with different themes and contributing to that plural verbal-visual language that distinguishes the publication. There are, of course, graphic designers and advertisers: well-known names such as Giulio Confalonieri, Silvio Coppola, AG Fronzoni, Max Huber, Giancarlo Iliprandi, Bruno Munari, Remo Muratore, Armando Testa, Pino Tovaglia, and others less well-known but no less interesting, such as Emilio De Maddalena, Roberto Maderna, Antonio Tabet and Enzo Belfanti, art director of Bassoli."

- Giorgio Camuffo, 
IMAGO 1960-1971: Una rivista tra sperimentazione, arte e industria

IMAGO 1960-1971

Una rivista tra sperimentazione, arte e industria