The year 2020 will mark exactly one hundred years since the birth of Gianni Rodari on 23 October 1920, a fact well worth celebrating. Bologna Children’s Book Fair aims to commemorate this anniversary by remembering the creativity of Italy’s first author to win the prestigious Hans Christian Andersen Award (in 1970), and one of the most innovative and influential children’s writers of the twentieth century.
Rodari’s works, many of which are still in print today, have been reinterpreted by some truly great illustrators. In fact, following the evolution of this idea, and in continuity with the exhibition Italian Excellence created in 2015 and presented to great acclaim in more than 10 countries, Bologna Children’s Book Fair, the Emilia-Romagna regional administration and the Italian Cultural Institute of Culture of San Francisco, with the collaboration of the Italian Consulate, are now promoting a new edition.
Illustrations for Gianni Rodari: Italian Excellence represents a sort of timeline of Italian illustration, exhibiting original works by 21 illustrators who are recognised as mainstays of Italian design and illustration, such as Bruno Munari and Emanuele Luzzati, as well as great contemporary artists such as Betrice Alemagna and Olimpia Zagnoli.
The full list includes: Bruno Munari, Emanuele Luzzati, Altan, Beatrice Alemagna, Gaia Stella, Olimpia Zagnoli, Manuel Fior, Alessandro Sanna, Valerio Vitali, Simona Mulazzani, Chiara Armellini, Anna Laura Cantone, Fulvio Testa, Maria Chiara Di Giorgio, Giulia Orecchia, Nicoletta Costa, Federico Maggioni, Francesca Ghermandi, Pia Valentinis, Elenia Beretta and Vittoria Facchini.
After the first inaugural venue at the Art Museum of Portland, USA, which ended the10 November 2019, the Exhibition was held at the Italian Cultural Institute of San Francisco until 20 February 2020.
At the end the Exhibition will be presented to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair professional public (4 - 7 May 2020) before leaving for other numerous destinations on the occasion of the celebrations devoted to the great Italian writer, pedagogist, journalist and poet.
At the same time, during 2020 two "digital" versions of the exhibition will be in Reggio Emilia (Centro Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi, 20 February - 31 December) and in Moscow (Russian State Children's Library, 18 March - 22 April).
The three works by each illustrator are brought together in the catalogue published by Einaudi Ragazzi – owner of the publishing rights for works by Rodari – and curated by the Cooperativa Giannino Stoppani/Accademia Drosselmeier, and will be presented at Italian Cultural Institutes that will host the exhibition.