With the church of San Francesco al Fopponino in Milan (1961–1964), he created his first façade with perforated hexagonal openings. This theatricality was reinforced by the omnipresence of ceramics, whose uses he reinvented both indoors and outdoors. Together with this manufacturer, he also produced geometrically decorated and coloured tiles to cover the floors of the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper's headquarters in Salzburg in 1976. What they do however have to have in common is a spirit of modernity in its various forms. Since at least the middle of the 20th…, Industrial design, the design of mass-produced consumer products. At the turn of the 1950s, Ponti deployed a prolific creation where he sought to combine aesthetic and functional requirements: the espresso machine for La Pavoni in 1948 and the Visetta sewing machine for Visa (1949), textiles for JSA, door handles for Olivari, a range of sanitary facilities for Ideal Standard, cutlery for Krupp Italiana and Christofle, lighting for Arredoluce and furniture for the Swedish department store Nordiska Kompaniet. As he would later recall in 1976, ‘[Ernesto Nathan] Rogers said that the client is the thing without which architecture cannot be done. 1966: Canopy for the main basilica at the Oropa sanctuary, 1967–1969: Colourful and triangular skyscrapers (. "Love architecture, be it ancient or modern,” Ponti said. His stint as artistic director of the Richard Ginori ceramic company paved his entry into the International Exhibition of Decorative Arts in Monza, along with its successive editions. Not only houses or condominium apartments, but also bridges, factories and electricity plants, all considered to be beautiful because they are modern, exactly like the work of artists that Ponti was particularly fond of, such as Fausto Melotti, Piero Fornasetti or Massimo Campigli. Gio Ponti Founds Domus Magazine, A Platform For The Emerging Italian Modernist Design. 1938–1949: Columbus clinic, via Buonarotti. Within the new multidisciplinary review of art, architecture and interior design Domus, which he founded in 1928 with the publisher Gianni Mazzochi and which he directed almost all his life, Ponti had the opportunity to spread his ideas. A block away, in via Dezza, Ponti built a nine-story apartment building, which housed his family. The ten "case tipiche" (typical houses), built in Milan between 1931 and 1938, were also close to Rationalist Modernism while retaining features of Mediterranean houses like balconies, terraces, loggias and pergolas. He was an impassioned promoter of talents, an insatiable and enthusiastic professional, driven in any creation by the motto: ‘The most resistant material in construction is art’. From 1923 to 1938 he did industrial design for the Richard-Ginori pottery factory. In 1952, he created a new agency with Antonio Fornaroli and his son-in-law Alberto Rosselli. It takes a native son to build something as iconic as the Pirelli Tower, Gio Ponti’s 1960 masterpiece that soars over Milan. This period corresponded to a period of reflection in which Ponti devoted himself to writing and designing sets and costumes for theatre and opera, such as Igor Stravinsky's Pulcinella for the Triennial Theatre in 1940, or Christoph Willibald Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice for the Milan Scala in 1947. Conceived as large-scale abstract sculpture, it can be seen from the inside as an uninterrupted sequence of points of view where light and color prevail. It was architecture and design related magazine which focused mainly on interior design and proved to be the most influential magazine of Europe. Giò Ponti died on September 16, 1979 at the age of 87 in Mila, Italy. In the last years of his life, Ponti was more than ever in search of transparency and lightness. This period is recorded in his portraits of his fellow soldiers, along with his sketches of bivouac life. The building is a perfect actualisation of the architect’s reflections on ‘finished form’ and of the urge to integrate form and structure which traverses his whole oeuvre, from the Hoffmann-inspired cutlery for Krupp (1951) to the Gabriela chair ‘with a reduced seat’ (1971). , Still in Milan, the 108-meter-high (354 ft) Littoria Tower (now Branca Tower), topped by a panoramic restaurant, was built in 1933 on the occasion of the Fifth Triennial of Decorative Arts, which inaugurated its new headquarters built by Giovanni Muzio. It is probably impossible to fit ‘tutto Ponti’ in one show, however two recent retrospectives, at the MAD in Paris (2018/19) and at the MAXXI in Rome (2019/20), have attempted to do so. Advertisement of the Superleggera chair Ten years on from the trauma and destruction of the Second World War, Ponti continued to demonstrate his talent in the search for the new with the Pirelli Tower completed in 1960, which remained for a considerable time the tallest building in Milan and Europe. Ponti’s Molteni chairs in-situ at the Palazzo Montecatini, Milan. This concept applied to architecture as well as art and design. He also rationalized the production system of the pieces while maintaining their high quality of execution. However, he had few opportunities for the effective practical application of this theories to the theme of collective housing. He credited the latter with having inspired his reflection on the theme of the “Mediterranean character”, which was a fundamental factor in many designs created from the 1930s onwards: “The Mediterranean taught Rudofsky, and Rudofsky taught me”, he wrote in one of the most celebrated editions of “Aria d’Italia”. In 1928, the prolific architect and designer founded Domus, the influential design magazine to which he would contribute for the rest of his life. The Borlettis were also crucial in the distribution of the Domus Nova series, Ponti’s first attempt at large-scale, affordable production, designed with Lancia in the late 1920s and sold by La Rinascente. He participated in the redevelopment and interior design of several Italian liners (Conte Grande et Conte Biancamano, 1949, Andrea Doria and Giulio Cesare, 1950, Oceania, 1951), showcases the know-how of his country. He created in particular a cylindrical lamp surrounded by crystal discs and mirrors and the famous Bilia Lamp. He invented lighting fixtures for Fontana Arte, Artemide (1967), Lumi (1960), and Guzzini (1967), but also fabrics for JSA and a dinner service for Ceramica Franco Pozzi (1967). Foliage patterns were developed on tiles for Ceramica D'Agostino. Ceramic sanitaries for Ideal Standard, 1954 ca. 1953: Italian-Brazilian-Centre, Predio d'Italia. With the construction of the Borletti funeral chapel in 1931, he started to adopt a modernist shift. In 60 years of creation and 50 of editorial activity, Gio Ponti designed more than 200 projects, from buildings to urban planning, theatre sets to exhibitions, seeing at least a third come to fruition, with more than 40 just in Milan. ", Limited-Edition Prints by Leading Artists, 'Distex' armchair, model no. Here Le Corbusier’s Ville Radieuse prompted him to integrate the theoretical lines of CIAM’s Modernism with his idea of the casa all’italiana (Italian home). His best-known architectural work, the Pirelli Building, Milan (1955–59, with Pier Luigi Nervi and others), is notable for its hexagonal plan. 1935–1936: Laporte house, via Benedetto Brin. 1977–1978: Facade of the Shui Hing department store. Shortly afterwards, he began a long-term collaboration with his friend Emilio Lancia which was to lead to the setting up of a professional firm where, for a short while, Ponti was to also be associated with architect Mino Fiocchi. ‘Taken by a spontaneous and natural interest found in those who search, investigate and identify the future’, Pagano writes, ‘he scuttles, unperturbed, with laurel branches, bountiful praise and cordial smiles, among the most irreducible enemies.’ Ponti’s ‘conciliatory temperament’ – which Pagano laments – did, however, undoubtedly permit him to select and familiarise himself with the aesthetic and technical influences he found useful to his work, and perhaps also to make many friends. The last - and important - building he designed was in fact the Co-cathedral of Taranto (1967-1970), in which the theme of the skylights - those majestic diamond-shaped cuts which frame sections of blue -, which was already examined with the Milanese church of San Francesco d’Assisi al Fopponino (1958-1964), becomes an enchanting embroidery chased with “windows opening onto the immensity, the dimension of the mystery”. Ponti nourished his creativity with what he encountered in these flourishing cultural circuits, which from 1928 he also would contribute to through his magazine Domus, founded with Gianni Mazzocchi and edited almost exclusively by himself until his death, with a pause in the years 1941-48.
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