About The Artist
One of the most remarkable designers and architects of the 20th century, Gio Ponti strived to enhance every aspect of our environment from buildings, furniture, and ceramics; to glass, silverware, and industrial products. Among his architectural marvels, the Pirelli Tower in Milan (1956) and the Denver Art Museum (1971) rank as two of his most famous constructions. While his architecture reached an unparalleled level of artistic achievement, he was equally adept in any medium, and his work ethic matched his prowess. When he was well into his 70s, Ponti worked an average of twenty hours per day, adhering to his principle, “Think at night and work during the day.” He was an architect who began with ceramics. At the age of 32, Ponti was hired as the artistic director at the Societa Ceramica Richard-Ginori where he was given free reign to revamp the entire design process. Ponti produced the Richard-Ginori catalogue until 1930, using the publication as a springboard for the release of the first issue of his highly influential architecture magazine Domus in 1928. Ponti employed this passionate, streamlined approach–one that considered each multilayered aspect and possible outcome–for every project, from magazine layouts and furniture design to industrial products and massive skyscrapers. In the forward to the double issue of Design Quarterly dedicated to Ponti, Charles Eames described the tireless innovator’s genius: “In this process of design or growth, where he anticipates and relives the experience that others will have–in this enthusiasm–he surely thinks of all people as rich human beings possessing those same capabilities and sensitiveness to experience that are his own. This is the only way–and this is the secret.” This secret of Ponti the artist-philosopher, in any project and medium, guided him in the achievement of form, beauty, and function.
Eames, Charles. Foreward. The Expression of Gio Ponti. Design Quarterly 69/70. Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1967. Print.
Matteoni, Dario. Gio Ponti: Fascination for Ceramics. Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2011. Print.