A Muse in the Wheels
Pirelli: A Century of Art at the Service of its Products
The spring of 2015 saw the publication of A Muse in the Wheels. Pirelli: A Century of Art at the Service of its Products. Edited by the Pirelli Foundation and published by Corraini, the book looks at the history of Pirelli communication through the works in the archive of original sketches and drawings – dating from 1872 to the late 1960s – which have been restored by the Foundation. Over two hundred works, made by various artists for advertisements, were used to illustrate Pirelli magazine or to celebrate the anniversaries of the industrial group.
They form a cross-section of the history of the figurative arts, of graphics and corporate communication, with a sizeable section devoted to product charts that describe the Pirelli products that appeared in advertising campaigns. Marcello Dudovich, Aldo Mazza, Leonetto Cappiello, Bob Noorda, Riccardo Manzi, Alessandro Mendini, and Armando Testa are just some of the names of the artists who offered their creativity to the company, in advertising campaigns that appeared in a variety of forms and registers and that all revolved around the brand with the Long P – a distinctive feature of corporate advertising dating back to 1907 and one with a truly unique “Pirelli Style”.