The nave is dressed for the occasion in a white lace, a fragment of the cathedral of the Italian Taranto (1970), which occludes the view and the main entrance. She forces him to go on side roads, side alleys to discover the treasures that it contains. It is the expo-event of the season : “Tutto Ponti, Gio Ponti arch-designer” at the Museum of decorative arts – MAD, in Paris, the first retrospective ever devoted in France to this prolific creator Italian (1891-1979), see the October 19, 2018 February 10, 2019. In its buildings, he drew up to the door handles, and invented the surface material that it is made-to-measure.
it is especially known skyscraper Pirelli, an architectural feat in the Milan of the post-war period, and the chair SuperLeggera for Cassina (1957), one of the lightest of its time-in (1.7 kg). This is the tip of the iceberg. Gio Ponti has left behind him a hundred buildings in thirteen countries, hundreds of objects, 2 500 letters drawn… Has around 400 pieces – ceramics, glassware, furniture, drawings, photographs, and newspapers, the exhibition sketch to the work “360 degrees” of a multi-disciplinary artist, fond of all the arts, curious new materials, new ways of living and inhabiting.
the “creator” of the ilk of a michelangelo or a Leonardo da Vinci, ignites Olivier Gabet, the director of the MAD, because only the great creators have this fiber humanist, this ability to juggle with poetry, painting, illustration, writing, or even engineering… with the same happiness. To transform the field of intelligence in arts. Even with the magazine Domus, which he founded in 1928, and which was dealt with in these walls, in 1973, an exhibition celebrating his forty-five years of existence, it has never been shown to blindness, but, on the contrary, a great openness of spirit “.
Promoter of the “made in Italy”
Giovanni Ponti, said Gio – born in Milan into an upper-class family and a graduate, in this same city, the Ecole polytechnique opened in 1921, his architecture firm, before becoming, two years later, artistic director of the porcelain by Richard-Ginori. He invented as soon as new patterns and designs and develops the mode of production in series. With one of his creations, the vase a normal Conversation, he won a grand prize at the Exhibition of decorative arts in Paris in 1925. Behind-the-scenes of the show, it binds to a steadfast friendship with Tony Bouilhet, the artistic director of the mark of goldsmith’s French Christofle, who commissioned him to his country house, called the Flying Angel, in Garches, Hauts-de-Seine.
” This corner of the Ile-de-France is, at the time, the playground of the modernists : Louis Süe inaugurated the club house of the golf of Saint-Cloud in 1925, Le Corbusier’s villa “Les Terrasses” for Americans Stein in 1926, and Auguste Perret, the villa, the egyptian minister Nubar Bey, in 1930-1931, list Sophie Bouilhet-Dumas, back-small niece of Gio Ponti, and one of four curators (with Dominique Forest, Salvatore Licitra, director of Gio Ponti Archives, assisted by Francesco Pastore). Gio Ponti wants him, for his first house built abroad, to defend the Italian art, where a construction “palladian”, with a lot of theatricality, soil color, and a painted ceiling with a canopy of colourful, joyful, as if suspended above the lounge. “
Read also : Salvatore Licitra : “Gio Ponti was like a film director”
at the time, Gio Ponti is still inspired by the Italian classicism. In the 1930s, he borrows the turning modernist architecture with the construction, in Milan, Check Tipiche and offices of the company Montecatini. This did not prevent him to draw fixtures for Fontana Arte, flatware for Krupp, fabrics for the De Angeli-Frua and Ferrari, the furniture for Casa e Giardino, etc, During the 1940s, Gio Ponti, is dedicated to the Palazzo del Bo, university of Padua : he himself painted some of the frescoes, monumental, imagine the risers of the staircases to the marble, for the promotion of made in Italy, draws the walnut furniture to the forms compounded.
“The years 1950-1960 are the most creative : Gio Ponti has found its vocabulary, and are building major buildings such as the Pirelli skyscraper 127 meters high, a few months, Europe’s highest, or the villa Planchart, like an abstract sculpture placed on the hills of Caracas in Venezuela or the villa Nemazee in Tehran,” said French architect Jean-Pierre Wilmotte, who has signed the scenography of the exhibition at MAD. “In addition to being a builder, it is a universal being, a craftsman of art, a creator in the porcelain, the ceramics, the furniture, the interior design… “, underlines the man, a great admirer and collector of Gio Ponti.
rhythm and vibration
He had to wait until 2011 for the Triennale of Milan dedicated to the child in the country, considered one of the fathers of modernism in the alps, dubbed ” Le Corbusier Italian “, a retrospective exhibition, by the curator Germano Celant. “There has been, after the war, pro and anti Ponti, because he was so built under Mussolini that he was suspected of collusion… I think Ponti was passionate about his art above all : he took leave to spend a little time, to be celebrated for his talent protean,” explains Chiara Spangaro, art historian and associate curator of the paris exhibition.
Gio Ponti sharing with the Italian architect Ernesto Nathan Rogers (1909-1969) the ability to develop its projects from the infinitely small to the infinitely great, ” from the spoon to the skyscraper “, with the same attention to detail. In its buildings, he drew up to the stair railings and door handles. He invented the surface material that it is made-to-measure : wheel of ceramics to the walls of a hotel in Sorrento, terrazzo “in line” for the university of Padua, earth melee of rubber to the Alitalia lounge, New York, ceramic tiles in tip of diamond to the building Montedoria… With the constant desire to catch the light, give rhythm to the interior by decorative colors vibrant, on the grounds of fast-paced floor-to-ceiling. It is preferred before the time, the well-being of the habitat – the “comfort” pounding-it, a word that means comfort, but also comfort in Italian. “Domus, the name of his magazine, a fetish is not a trivial matter, reports Dominique Forest. He regarded the home as the center of the universe and, more specifically, “the home Italian style” as the ultimate expression of an authentic civilization modern and international. “
” Tutto Ponti, Gio Ponti arch-designer “, until February 10, 2019 at the MAD, 107 rue de Rivoli, Paris 1st. Catalog of 320 pages, 300 illustrations, 55 euros.
Read also : the return of The Italian masters of design