The MIT Press
11.25" x 10.25"
This is the first complete survey and thematic profile of one of the most prolific and accomplished Italian architects of the century. From the Richard-Ginori chinaware and the founding of Domus magazine in the 1920s and '30s, to the Pirelli tower erected in Milan in the 1950s to the "facade" architecture of the '70s, Gio Ponti has been a major force in the shaping of twentieth-century Italian design. The Complete Work presents a fully illustrated decade-by-decade account of Ponti's vast output in interior and industrial design, decorative arts, and architecture. It describes his powerful influence on generations of Italian designers, his contributions to Italy's urban culture, and his role as a propagandist and editor.
Gio Ponti was not only an architect but a poet, painter, polemicist, and designer of exhibitions, theater costumes, Venini glassware, Arthur Krupp tableware, Cassina furniture, lighting fixtures, and ocean liner interiors. He is perhaps best known as the architect of Milan's Pirelli tower, at one time the tallest building in Europe, and for his "Super-leggera" chair which was first manufactured in the '50s and has become classic because of its almost universal use in Italian restaurants. Above all, Ponti was responsible for the renewal of Italian architecture and decorative arts. Drawing upon the legacy of the Viennese Secession and the Wiener Werkstatte, he transformed "classical" language into a rationalist vocabulary.
The entire photographic archive of Ponti's studio, together with his unpublished writings, were made available for the first time for the preparation of this book. There are many new photographs of his work and a broad selection of his letters, diaries and essays. A biographical profile, bibliography, and chronologies of works, exhibitions, and sales round out this stunning book
Lisa Licitra Ponti is curator of the Ponti Archives, She is also a well-known art and architecture critic. She collaborated with her father from 1940 until his death in 1979.