|gio ponti was the godfather of italy's post-war design renaissance. on show at london's design museum and netherlands architecture institute..........|
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|gio ponti / a world
3 may to 6 october 2002
design museum, london, uk
october 19, 2002 until january 12, 2003
the netherlands architecture institute (NAi)
gio ponti's decorative modernism on show at the design
museum in london.
a decade after ponti's death his daughter, lisa licitra ponti,
summarised his career as: 'sixty years of work, buildings in
thirteen countries, lectures in twenty-four, twenty-five years
of teaching, fifty years of editing, articles in every one of the
five hundred and sixty issues of his magazines,
two thousand five hundred letters dictated, two thousand
letters drawn, designs for a hundred and twenty enterprises,
one thousand architectural sketches.'
that's what the exhibition, the first british museum retrospective
is all about.
in october the netherlands architecture institute (NAi)
is staging the retrospective.
ponti's spirit shines through his writing
- joyful, generous and brimful of briò - as it did in all his work.
'love architecture, be it ancient or modern.
love it for its fantastic, adventurous and solemn creations;
for its inventions; for the abstract, allusive and figurative
forms that enchant our spirit and enrapture our thoughts.
love architecture, the stage and support of our lives.'
those were the words with which gio ponti (1891-1979)
began the 1957 collection of essays he published in italian
(as 'amate l'architettura, and in english 'in praise of
architecture'), intended to encourage everyone
to use good design as a means of enjoying la dolce vita
- the colourful, sensual Italian good life.
'between 5am and 6am when he wrote thirty letters mostly
to friends and collaborators, by means of a refined and
sinuous handwriting he often traced words which became
drawings. they were not 'letters' but inventions, soft ideas,
quick thoughts to fix in the time the meaning of friendship'
says lisa licitra ponti.
he sketched and wrote so frenziedly that his daughter
recalled his hands being stained 'black with graphite and ink'
by the middle of the afternoon.
villa arreaza, caracas, venezuela
furniture and interior design by gio ponti, 1956
© gio ponti archives/ s. licitra, milan
courtesy of the design museum
book by gio ponti 'la casa allitaliana',
milano, edizioni domus, 1933
illustrated letters by gio ponti, 1966
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