From the infinitely small to the infinitely big. The retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (from 19 October 2018 to 5 May 2019) on the master of Italian design narrates his ability to work on different scales
In 1923, at the age of 32, Gio Ponti was appointed art director of Richard Ginori. He had only recently opened his own studio, after taking a degree at the Milan Polytechnic, and he was working on the house on Via Randaccio in Milan, his first work of architecture and the first of the four houses he designed for himself: almost a small Palladian monument. This was the start of an extraordinary career that made him one of leading figures of the 20th century, not just in Italy. Ponti can simply be defined as an “artist and promoter of the arts.”
Today Paris celebrates his legacy with a large retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs on Rue de Rivoli: Tutto Ponti. Gio Ponti Archi-Designer, from 19 October 2018 to 10 February 2019, curated by Olivier Gabet, director of the museum, Dominique Forest, curator of the Contemporary & Modern department, Sophie Bouilhet-Dumas and Salvatore Licitra, director of the Gio Ponti Archives.
The show covers Ponti’s whole career, from 1921 to 1978, through over 500 pieces, some being shown in public for the first time: architecture, furnishings, ceramics, lamps, glass, magazines, in an installation by Wilmotte & Associés, with signage graphics by Italo Lupi and graphic design of communication by the agency Betc.
The sponsor of this first exhibition in France on Ponti’s work is Molteni&C, a company that is part of the Molteni Group (together with Dada, Unifor and Citterio), in the context of the rediscovery and reissuing starting in 2010 of furnishings created by the Milanese architect. This participation is part of a focus on Italian design in an international perspective.
Furthermore, Molteni&C does not only act as a patron, but contributes to the exhibition by lending the Musée des Arts Décoratifs a number of original furnishings that are now part of the collection of the Molteni Museum. (Danilo Premoli)