I nostri Anni '70. Libri per ragazzi in Italia

  20 March > 20 July 2014


curated by Silvana Sola e Paola Vassalli


The Exhibition


Palazzo delle Esposizioni - Spazio Fontana
Inauguration 20 March at 18.00

There's no children's literature, there's literature; there aren't colours for children, there are colours;
there's no graphics for children, there's graphics which is the international language of images
François Ruy-Vidal

The Palazzo delle Esposizioni presents I nostri anni '70. Libri per ragazzi in Italia curated by Silvana Sola and Paola Vassalli. The exhibition, whose set-up recalls the graphics and design of those years, grew out of a project by Paola Vassalli for the Palazzo delle Esposizioni Art Workshop and was created with the participation of Biblioteche di Roma.

The 1970s saw a revolution that radically changed and innovated the children's book publishing scene in Italy, years in which a new generation of publishers, authors and illustrators freed itself from the old expressive canons of illustrated books for children by designing and creating books for the new child. A timeline that runs through a decade, becoming a living heritage, a stimulus, an occasion for discovery by "apprentice readers".


Incorporating the suggestions of The 70s. Art in Rome the exhibition is an invaluable occasion to deal in depth with the fabulous seventies of children's books in Italy. Years in which, thanks to the effervescent climate and the "opening of frontiers" at the hands of "the ladies of Italian children's books", a revolution took place in the graphics and contents of books for our younger readers. In an age of aesthetic provocations, also in Italy the picture book gained consolidation, the happiest expression of our "illustrated album", and the child learner reader lost the status of "minor" and took on the same dignity as an adult. And then the stories were the same that mum and dad read in their books and newspapers: ecological stories, stories of "war and peas", of diversity and solidarity, of friendship in search of identity, in a word, stories of life.

A decade of history centred on the original work of great Italian artists along the "paths of creativity": to get to know the rules of the game as laid down by Bruno Munari in creating his precious "project books", in order to enter the world of fairytale and to step onstage guided by the figures of Emanuele Luzzati, to experience the liberating range of sign and word in the poetry of Toti Scialoja, with evergreen travelling companions such as Valentina Mela Verde, created by Grazia Nidasio, and the lovely Pimpa from the pen of the great Atlan. On show a hundred drawings and a hundred titles, many available at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni Art Shelf, bear witness to the national and international publishing research of a past that is still topical.

The catalogue (Corraini Edizioni) which accompanies and enriches the show brings together testimonies and essays from the leading figures: publishers, critics, writers and illustrators. A considerable iconography of more than a hundred and forty colour images means particularly rich visuals founded on a balance between image and word.