Dead Italo Lupi, architect and master of international graphics -

Dead Italo Lupi, architect and master of international graphics -


In his career he has won three Golden Compasses; the logos of Fiorucci, the Triennale and the Adi Design Museum belong to him. He had collaborated with the «Corriere della Sera» and made a cover of «la Lettura»

Gillo Dorfles deeply esteemed him for his professional quality, but also recognized in him a special talent: the delicacy of soul and a particular elegance with a sober Anglo-Saxon taste. Italo Lupi, architect and art director, passed away in Milan in the night between Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 June at the age of 89 (he was born in Cagliari in 1934) after a painful battle against an illness that never affected his love for work and the idea of ​​beauty.

«A just man, he worked all his life away from the clamor, fighting against the desire to amaze»: this is how his son Michele gave the news of the disappearance. And he could not use more authentic words to outline not only the character of the father, but also his professional figure as a true protagonist of international visual communication.

Italo Lupi has in fact accompanied our gaze with an infinity of projects characterized by grace and a truly rare elegance: for the strength of the compositions, for the skilful use of lettering and illustration, for the sophisticated way in which he used color, perhaps the key element of recognition of his way of understanding work and life too.

His whole world has moved within cultured quotations from the history of art and in a dimension of harmony that comes from his training between the Renaissance and American Pop art. It is no coincidence that Italo Lupi, among the many protagonists of Italian graphics, he was the only one to take us into visions of North American and British visual culture: somehow Lupi acted as a bridge between cultures, while maintaining intact, indeed reinforcing, his vision of an author steeped in Italian tradition. He introduced us to the magic of Saul Steinberg's drawings and in Aspen, in June 1989, he became the symbolic Italian ambassador at an international design conference, creating The Italian Manifesto, a sum of iconic banners almost as if to say softly, but with extreme force, a cultural identity that comes from far away. Italo Lupi was exactly like this: like those elegant, delicate and at the same time powerful banners, which appear similar to contemporary works, but which contain the memory of distant worlds.

His is the logo of Miu Miu, of Fiorucci (with the two little angels taken from Raphael), his is also the historical logo of the Triennale, of Poldi Pezzoli and also, the last one, the one for the Adi Design Museum - Compasso d'Oro. And among other things, speaking of Compasso d'Oro, Lupi has won three and among the various awards he was also awarded the Royal Designer ad Honorem in London.

Italo Lupi is internationally considered a true master, a point of reference for the new generations of graphic designers from all over the world. He had also collaborated with the «Corriere»: the writer had invited him to redesign the historic masthead of the newspaper to make it more current and had always collaborated with us for the creation of inserts dedicated to design and finally also created a cover of «la Lettura», exactly the number #206 of 8 November 2015.

He was a sensitive, highly cultured, ironic man, a friend of intellectuals, writers, architects and designers: from Umberto Eco to Achille Castiglioni and Mario Bellini and many others. He was inexhaustibly full of curiosity: he was always funny and amused, a light-hearted man, capable with his British spirit of easing all tensions. He was always full of anecdotes, and despite his multifaceted commitments he always knew how to face all professional difficulties with great kindness. As director and art director of «Abitare» and «Domus», or as the inventor of installations, always extremely elegant and functional: like the one, for the Turin Olympics, the ski championships in Cortina, for Pitti in Florence or, one of the last, at Palazzo Reale in Milan for the Picasso exhibition. He worked for fashion houses and his emotional and professional bond with the great architect and friend Guido Canali should be noted.

A master. And he behaved as such until the end: just a month ago, he called one of his historical collaborators for a symbolic passing of the baton: he entrusted her the role of taking care of the image of Palazzo Butera in Palermo that he himself was following. He knew he no longer had the strength to go on. The masters, the real ones, above all give life lessons. Until the very end.

June 28, 2023 (change June 28, 2023 | 5:45 pm)

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