Over his prolific six decade career, Gio Ponti (1891 – 1979) built a professional and artistic reputation that was akin to another Italian countryman from centuries earlier: DaVinci. An architect, designer, author, and creative maker, Ponti was accomplished in every field he entered, developing hundreds of pieces of furniture and building more than 100 buildings, including Milan’s famed Pirelli Tower. Now, his vast career is being profiled in the most extensive publication to date, Taschen’s Gio Ponti. Art Edition.
The new monograph (numbered 1 – 1,000) is the most extensive to date, covering 136 Gio Ponti building projects and detailing their ideation, development, and execution. Previously unpublished materials and images add to the insights of the master, alongside biographical text by Stefano Casciani — former managing editor of Domus, the magazine that Ponti himself founded in 1928 — that was produced in collaboration with the Gio Ponti Archives.
For Chairish readers, the most fascinating part of Gio Ponti’s legacy may well be his extensive furniture design and decorative arts work. Ponti had a long history in creating objects that still resonate today, from his time as the artistic director of Ginori to his collaborations with Christofle and Venini. Later in his career, he created furniture for brands including Knoll and Poltrona Frau as well as lighting for Fontanta Arte and Artemide.
The Art Edition package includes one of these pieces along with the book: the Arlecchino lattice coffee table, one of Ponti’s most recognizable furniture creations. With bright colors inset into the piece that echo the yellows of the book, the table is being reissued in a more rare square format that was originally developed in 1954 for Ponti’s Villa Planchart in Caracas (hence being known as the “Planchart coffee table”).
Additionally, the package includes four prints of drawings made by Gio Ponti in the late 1940’s for the interiors of ocean liners Conte Grande and Conte Biancamano. Each image shows the ways in which Ponti created unique spaces for the different ships, emblematic of the diversity and breadth of the work he developed around the world over the course of his illustrious career.
Gio Ponti. Art Edition – hardcover, 14.2 x 14.2 in., 572 pages; with an exclusive table designed by Gio Ponti, 22.2 x 22.2 x 15 in.; and four art prints, each 15.7 x 15.7 in., printed on 305gsm Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth.
All images courtesy of Taschen