Manfredo Massironi

Italy / 1937 - 2011 /
Manfredo Massironi, best known for his artistic and scientific research in the field of visual perception, died on November 30, 2011. He was a brilliant, ironic man, a talented visual scientist and an original interpreter of the developments of Gestalt Psychology in Italy. (More atkrammerbuch link above.)

Manfredo was an extraordinary and humble man. Trained as an architect in Venice, he was always fascinated by visual forms. Combining his care for construction and his interests in shapes, he became an artist – and a superb one, and a member of the avant-garde Il Gruppo Enne in the 1960s. The Group Enne exhibited their works collectively; individuals were anonymous, at least for a while. Their works were exhibited all over Europe (Belgrade, London, Paris, Rome, Zagreb, and at the Venice Biennale in 1964) and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

It is almost commonplace for an artist to regard each work as an experiment, but when Manfredo – a visual artist with profound psychological insights – discovered that there was actually a scientific field that did experiments invision, he was hooked and retrained himself as a psychologist. It was foreordained that he would align with the Italian Gestalt Psychologists – the best known in North America are Fabio Metelli and Gaetano Kanizsa – but he always remained an independent thinker and doer.

When I knew him he taught in Verona, but for a time he had what I thought was the best possible job a perceptual psychologist could have: He traveled to Milan to teach a class on perception to design students. AndI couldn’t imagine a better person to do it.

For me his lasting scholarly work is his only English language book (Massironi, 2002), translated by my former student Nicola Bruno. It is a marvelous, idiosyncratic text brimming with visual ideas and lessons about visual form." James Cutting, Rassegna di Psicologia, in press. (Read more at
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First Collected by

Suzan Hamer


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