Gio Ponti, genius and art from the table to infinity

A life that spans a century in deep transformation. Architect, designer, multifaceted intellectual, inventor of made in Italy, the world of Gio Ponti (Milano 1891-1979) is shown from today Ethnographic room in the Civic Museum of Maglie (opening at 19:00 and tour of the exhibition at 20:00-21:00).

At the table with Gio Ponti – The angels cover the table“Edited by Cintya Concari and Roberto Marcattithe duo that has been promoting the culture of contemporary designers for years, in this case in collaboration with Salvatore Licitra, head ofGio Ponti Archives. It is arranged by Puglia Region, from the Biblio-Museale Polo in Lecce, from the Municipality of Maglie, from the Civic Museum of Paleontology and Palethnology “Decio de Lorentiis” and from the Mercatino del Gusto Association.

The objects interact with the museum’s prehistoric finds and come from private collections, from the Gio Ponti Archive – Ponti’s headquarters, today the archive of his vast production – from Mumac in Milan, the Cimbali Group’s museum of espresso machines. .

Refined objects for the new bourgeoisie in the economic booms

From the spoon to the skyscraper”, Each time Ponti creates a unique work, never the same as the previous one, following an Italian model that crosses the arts. He is a Renaissance man, of a modern humanism, aware of the role of the architect and designer in a rapidly changing society. Central to his reflections is the theme of the house, the Italian house, a space with life and beauty. In the first issue of Domus, the monthly architecture and design magazine he founded in 1928, describes the characteristics of a way of life that manifests itself in both “great art” and “small art”, in the building and fixtures, in the lamps, in the fabrics, in objects . They are refined objects, of which the new bourgeoisie in the years of the economic boom needs and which the exhibition gives us a glimpse of such as the steel trays and cutlery produced by Sambonet, the multicolored chandelier and the glass by Venini, the table lamps by Fontana Arte, the plates and the Pozzi ceramics that they always have in their production. the effect of imagination and wonder.

Art fell in love with the industry”, confirmed, and after all, Ponti is one of the inventors of industrial design that manages to integrate beauty and functionality, to make craftsmen speak a contemporary language in a historical moment when enlightened entrepreneurs were able to transform prototypes into mass production. Since the 1950s, he has collaborated with over a hundred companies, which he helps to grow by exploring the infinite possibilities of creativity. A “homo ludens”, with a thousand talents that combine knowledge and inventions and change the aesthetic and functional design world as in “Lightweight chair“From 1951 produced for Cassina or in the refined porcelain designed for Richard-Ginori, with whom he collaborated from 1923 to 1938. In 1954 he invented Compasso d’Orostill today one of the most prestigious awards for industrial design.

The Great Mother of God Co-Cathedral in Taranto, a symbol of social utopia

But Ponti’s modernity also lies in the search for a shared Mediterranean thought Bernard Rudofskyin the vision of “an architecture without architects“Where the city is the fruit of community thought, an archive of models in which past and future, collective thought and individual creativity live. Certainly in keeping with the “zeitgeist” (zeitgeist) in which it occurs Pirelli skyscraper (Pirellone), i Palaces in Montecatini that since the 1950s has transformed the face of Milan or Grand Mother of God co-cathedral of Taranto (1964-1970), of which one Shirts you can admire a model. It is a fundamental work, the spiritual interpretation of a difficult material such as reinforced concrete, with the great bell tower “la vela”, a metaphor for the sea of ​​Taranto, a tower “full of sky”, pierced by eighty hexagonal and rectangular windows. Close to what was supposed to be the city’s new axis of development, the Co-Cathedral is a new religious center, symbol of a social utopia, linked to Puglia by color (white) and by references to art history (Romanesque). An extraordinary church, recently restored, suspended between earth, water and sky, demonstrating in its furniture and windows how Gio Ponti was “enormous” in every scale, connecting the small and the large, a difficult relationship and still today one of the great challenges in art and architecture.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by the Regional Council of Puglia and open until September 30, guided tours will take place on the days of the Taste Market: in the morning from August 2 to 5, 9 am to 1 pm and in the afternoon from August 2 to 7 6 pm – 23.

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