Gio Ponti: master of beauty

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Plate of Gio Ponti for Richard Ginori


“LISA” by Beatrice Brandini

There are talented artists, others overestimated, many incredibly famous, and then there are artists like Gio Ponti, those who conceive and realize everything becomes pure beauty and unmistakable sign of their aesthetics.

As the biggest in his life was dedicated to several forms of art, architecture, design (even when this word was not in the everyday vocabulary), furnishings, painting …. , achieving excellent results every time and “branding” his creature, his project as a “real Ponti”. I think his sign is unmistakable, it’s probably happened to go to an auction, to visit a museum, to see an object printed on a magazine, and think “That’s nice that Ponti ….” immediately.

Angent Volant 2

Ange Volant

Two photos of the magnificent house designed by Ponti for Tony H. Bridges Bouilhet , L’Ange Volant , in Garches , France 1925-1926

Ponti loved the color as a form of expression mild and playful, passionate of materials, not always first choice, (in fact it is said to be trying in the back room of his suppliers, find the more “special” , more experienced material , like a knotty wood or natural marble).

Ponti stands out for its originality and diversity of his ideas, does not follow a constant creative process.

Giovanni Ponti, said Gio, was born in Milan in 1891, into a family of high class bourgeois; already proving a little artistic talent that brings him closer to the painting, however, because the painter was (then as now) a less solid career, you joined the faculty of architecture at the Polytechnic of Milan (in the thirties will get a chair at this major university, he held until 1961) . In those years, the art scene was characterized and influenced by Futurism, tumultuous revolutionary current, which repudiated the past by virtue of a renewal of the arts. Although Ponti was a friend of Marinetti, did not agree with some positions of this current, particularly those more radical, Ponti to the past was rather important influence of his art, the transition to modern. Also friend of Carrà, Sironi and De Chirico, then fan of the metaphysical painting so that also influenced the architecture.

5 Vaso 3    6 Vaso Ginori

7 Piatto 2    8 Vaso Ginori

Some ceramics by Gio Ponti for Richard Ginori

In the first post-war opened a design studio, in 1923 became the artistic director of the famous ceramic Richard – Ginori (company formed by the merger of two big factories, one in Milan and the other Florentine), a position he held until 1930, completely renovating the image not only of Ginori, but of the whole Italian ceramics. Important to mention that already in 1925, just two years after the commencement of this collaboration, the Ginori won the Grand Prix at the International Exhibition in Paris.

9 Domus primo nr. 1928

Domus, founded and directed by Gio Ponti, first edition 1928

In 1928 he founded Domus, a magazine that talks about architecture, art, craft and design. This magazine had many merits, that of having helped to spread some themes cultural/ artistic, giving advice in the field of housing, but above all to have disclosed the tasteful and beautiful.

 10 Schizzo per Blogjpeg    11 Schizzo per Blog    12 Schizzo per Blog

Dress ’20 and ’30,  sketches Beatrice Brandini

In 1933 he organized, together with Giuseppe Pagano, the Triennale of Milan, in which he attempted to reconcile industry and commerce, giving birth to what would later become the Italian industrial design. “The industry has a style”, he said, urging young people to the study of applied arts and Italy to start its own modern production exploiting local workers.

13 Lampadario-Venini-anni-50_672-458_resize    14 posate-per-Arthur-Krupp-con-manico-romboidale-1955_672-458_resize

Projects Gio Ponti: Venini chandelier, ’50  Cutlery for Arthur Krupp, 1955

He drew glasses for Fontana, Artemis, Venini ….. Furniture for Cassina, Frau, Ideal Standard … names along with his have made Italy famous all over the world. As well as costumes for La Scala in Milan, soft furnishings, coffee machines. cutlery …. Even foreign companies such as Knoll, Krupp, Singer & Sons, … became interested in his work, by commissioning projects.

15 Lo Stile

Cover of “The Style”, 1942

In 1939 he started to collaborate with the magazine of art and literature “Italian Air”, developing texts, drawings and covers. Subsequently, in 1941, he resigned from Domus to give birth to a new art magazine, “Style”, published by Garzanti.

In the fifties his fame reaches very high levels, so that are commissioned major projects such as the renovation of the city of Baghdad by the Iraqi government. Concur with him on this project architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius.


Torre Pirelli from Piazza Duca d’Aosta

The Pirelli Tower, built between 1954 and 1956, represents the pinnacle of the career of Ponti, called to achieve at 63 years. It is one of the first skyscrapers in Europe, 127.10 meters high. This building is a symbol, together with the Cathedral , of Milan and testifies to the economic recovery of Italy after World War II

16 Superleggera_Gio_Ponti_-_Cassina_-_superlight_    17 Gabriela

Super light 1957, chair produced by Cassina   Chair “Gabriela” 1971 prototype of the Walter Ponti

In the field of furniture pieces designed by Ponti that made history, such as the SuperLight chair, still produced today, or as the chair Gabriela.


Cover of “Love the architecture”

In 1957 he published his book Love Architecture, a precious gift, an essay on architecture. Ponti was also in charge of the layout of the book, the pages had different colors to divide the topics. On the cover his motto: the architecture is a crystal (the pure architecture is crystal, when it is pure it is pure as a crystal, magic, closed, exclusive, pristine, absolute, definitive, like a crystal … Gio Ponti).

The famous furniture brand Molteni&C has put on the market a new edition of furniture designed by Gio Ponti between 1935 and fifties. For those who have not lived through those years can still savor a little ‘taste” through these pieces of art.

19 Villa Planchart Venezuela    20 Villa Planchart    21 gio ponti

Architectural design by Gio Ponti Villa Planchart Caracas, Venezuela

I like to emphasize that in addition to having left an indelible mark with its beautiful and revolutionary projects, was a gentleman, his personality was characterized by calm, kindness and sense of humor, his smile was infectious and disarming ….

abiti gio ponti    Abiti gio ponti 2

Beatrice Brandini’s mini collection inspired by Gio Ponti

Goodbye Mr. Ponti, I hope that is one of the people that one day I could meet again and who knows, have the pleasure of knowing.

22 Volto collezione privata

“Face”,  Design by Gio Ponti, private collection

Good life to all!



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