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Max Huber (Baar, 1919 – Mendrisio, 1992) è stato un designer svizzero , la cui attività si è svolta prevalentemente in Italia. Inizia come incisore, studiando alla Kunstgewerbeschule di Zurigo, ma subito si indirizza, grazie ai celebri fotografi svizzeri Werner Bischof e Alfred Willimann verso una cultura visiva di stampo contemporaneo, influenzata dai movimenti dell’epoca (tra cui il futurismo russo) e l’influenza della fotografia nella grafica. Viene chiamato a collaborare all’industria grafica Conzett & Huber. Qui incontra Max Bill e Hans Neuburg. Nel 1940 si stabilisce a Milano, nella fucina grafica più importante dell’epoca, lo studio Boggeri, studiando contemporaneamente all’Accademia di Brera e entrando in contatto con Bruno Munari e Albe Steiner. Dopo una parentesi in Svizzera (1941-1945), dove lavora per la rivista Du e prende parte all’Allianz (artisti d’arte astratta), torna in Italia. Inizia la collaborazione con Giulio Einaudi, che lo incarica di rinnovare tutta la grafica della casa editrice torinese. Nel 1950 disegna marchio e logotipo per La Rinascente. Con Achille Castiglioni e Erberto Carboni progetta importanti allestimenti, quali RAI, ENI, Montecatini e varie mostre della radio: la sua attività lo porta a distinguersi anche nel campo editoriale e collabora con importanti realtà quali Legler, Olivetti, Esselunga. È stato attivo anche nel campo dell’insegnamento, presso l’Umanitaria di Milano (1959-1962), alla Scuola Politecnica di Design (anni Settanta), alla CSIA di Lugano.
Max Huber (Baar, 1919 – Mendrisio, 1992)
Max Huber was born in Switzerland in 1919 and, at the age of 17, he enrolled at the Zurich School of Arts and Crafts. This was a time of great renewal in the field of art and design in Switzerland: many Swiss went to study at the Bauhaus, and various artists and designers from Germany settled in Switzerland as a refuge from National Socialism. Together they forged the new Swiss school of graphic design.
At the end of 1940 Huber went to Milan where he worked for the Studio Boggeri until 1942 when he moved back to Switzerland. Here he worked together with a group of Swiss artists led by Max Bill and, in 1942, he exhibited his paintings at the Zurich Kunsthaus together with Bill, Leo Leuppi, Richard Lohse, and Camille Graeser.
In October 1945 he moved permanently back to Milan where he contributed to laying the foundations of the renowned Italian boom. In fact he came to know and work with many of the leading Italian intellectuals, entrepreneurs, and designers of the time, such as Giulio Einaudi, Elio Vittorini, and Franco Fortini. The forthcoming years were very active: Einaudi asked him to oversee the graphics of his publishing house; he organized the image of the Braendli society in 1947; from 1948 to 1949 he worked together with Borsalino; and, in 1950 he began his long collaboration with the La Rinascente stores.
Although he continued to work frenetically over the next decades and made many working trips abroad, above all to the United States and Japan, he continued to paint, produce prints, and take part in exhibitions although, due to the international visibility of his design work, probably many more people know his work than his name.
Although influenced by the Bauhaus, Huber was also indirectly inspired by the dynamism of Futurist ideas of machinery and movement as well as by its use of photographic and typographic elements. However, he was also deeply convinced that design had a role to play in restoring lost human values to society.
After his death the Max Huber-Kono foundation, named after him and his wife, opened the m.a.x. museum in the town of Chiasso in 2005.
His work is to be found in many international public collections, including the Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, France; the NMAO National Museum of Art Osaka, Osaka, Japan; the British Museum, London, UK; the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, the Museo d’Arte Mendrisio, Mendrisio, and the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland; MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, New York, U.S.A.