Designer Portfolio: Giò Ponti

Inside Man

Giò Ponti (1891-1979) was one of the great designers of the 20th century. His vision of modern life was a blend of elegantly stylized Neo-Classicism, a Mod interest in color and geometry, and a romantic fantasy of La Dolce Vita.

Ponti's work is unmistakably modern, with spare, light forms and playful, bold colors. But at the same time, his work is heavily inflected by the past — specifically the Italian Neo-Classical tradition extending back at least as far as the Renaissance, if not all the way back to Ancient Rome.

Although all his work toyed with history and tradition, his output was hardly one-note. Ponti's work could be organic or geometrical, spare or luxurious, functional or purely decorative. Above all, his work always strove to be beautiful, during a century when the definition of that word was often up for grabs. Here is a small sampling of his many designs in various media.

Sources: Last year, Rizzoli published a beautiful monograph on Ponti written by Ugo La Pietra. There is also the Taschen Basic Architecture Series book by Graziella Roccella.

From September 16-30, there will be an exhibition of some of Ponti's works at the Soho store Molteni&C Dada Unifor.
Images: 1 Villaplanchart blog; 2 Kontain.com; 3 De Parma via 1stdibs; 4 Unica Home; 5 Phillips de Pury; 6 Apartment Therapy; 7 Cassina; 8 Lampedo via 1stdibs; 9 Royalgroup.it; 10 & 11 Parco dei Principi, photos by an anonymous visitor; 12 & 13 Mr. Peacock Style blog; 14 Metropolitan Museum of Art; 15 Maisonapart.com;

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