THE ITALIAN MASTERS OF ARCHITECTURE
Giovanni “Gio” Ponti, (Milan, November 18, 1891 - Milan, September 16, 1979), is one of the Italian masters of architecture. He was also a designer and essayist and one of the most important of the twentieth century. With a career that spanned six decades, the master creator contributed thousands of works to the world, pieces that were at once classic and modern, blurring the boundaries between movements and spearheading the evolution of post-war modern Italian design. Gio Ponti was also an Italian promoter of industrial design and introduced the idea of interior furnishing ranges produced as being a "sophisticated," economic, "democratic" and modern.
Gio Ponti’s D.235.1 chair (1935), originally designed for his Montecatini Building in Milan (by Molteni&C).
Driven by an innovative mind, one that produced such a massive outpouring of creativity and originality, Ponti defies labels. His works moved fluidly across styles and moments and his influence on contemporary Italian design culture – and worldwide – continues today. From his strikingly slender 127-metre tall Pirelli Tower in Milan (completed in 1960) and that city’s demure Borletti funeral chapel (1931) to the fortress-like Denver Art Museum (his only work on North American soil; 1971), his architecture ranged from modest to unabashed. And his furniture similarly ran the gamut from sleek and sculptural to elegantly extravagant. Adding to this is his ceramics, lamps and glasswork – and his publication, Domus, which he founded in 1928 to further promote Italian design globally. Ponti was truly a master of all trades.
In 1934 he was given the title of "Commander" of the Royal Order of Vasa in Stockholm. He also obtained the Accademia d'Italia Art Prize for his artistic merits, as well as a gold medal from the Paris Académie d'Architecture. Finally, he obtained an honorary doctorate from the London Royal College of Art.
THE ALITALIA OFFICES
In the late 50´s, Ponti was invited to design in New York the interiors of the Alitalia offices on 5th Avenue and the Auditorium of the eighth floor of the Time Life building.
The life and work of the prolific Italian maestro is being celebrated at Tutti Ponti: Gio Ponti, Arch-Designer, at the Musée des Art Décoratifs in Paris until 05 May 2019. Our Union of Excellence Contributors have recently visited the exhibition in Paris and its stunning. To condense such a prolific oeuvre into a single exhibition may seem a near-impossible task, but with close to 500 pieces on display, the current retrospective at the Musée des Art Décoratifs in Paris is an excellent showing. Spread across the museum’s main hall and touching on all aspects of Ponti’s work, the comprehensive compilation includes drawings, furniture, architectural designs and other objects – some of which are on display to the public for the first time. At the link below you can inform yourself at the official website of Musée des Art Decoratifs (Medparis.fr).