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Gio Ponti exhibition at Musée des Arts Décoratifs examines his six-decade career

Posted on 09 July, 2017 by Norah
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Gio Ponti exhibition at Musée des Arts Décoratifs examines his six-decade career

An exhibition celebrating the career of Gio Ponti is on show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, featuring reconstructions of some the architect's best-known interiors.

As the first retrospective of the Italian architect and designer staged in France, Tutto Ponti: Gio Ponti Archi-Designer brings together more than 500 pieces from the archive of his work.

"An eclectic architect and creator, interested in both industrial production and craftsmanship, Ponti enriched post-war architecture, indicating the prospects for a new art of living," explained the curators.

Gio Ponti exhibition Musee des Arts Decoratifs
The exhibition design includes large-scale photographs of Ponti, as well as scale models, drawings and film

As well as producing architecture, furniture, ceramics, lamps and glassware, Ponti experimented with various materials including copper, enamel and silver leaf during his long career.

He was also the founder and, for two stretches, the editor, of Domus magazine, enlisting many friends and colleagues to write for the title.

Gio Ponti exhibition Musee des Arts Decoratifs
Four armchairs by Ponti are arranged around the D5551 side table in a corner of the triple-height gallery space

Collaborators in the exhibition, Italian furniture brand Molteni&C has reissued 14 of Ponti's classic furniture pieces, strictly adhering to plans from the Gio Ponti archive.

These include perhaps his most recognisable design: the Superleggera or "super light" chair, a simple wooden frame with a woven rattan seat that weighs just 1.7 kilograms.

Gio Ponti exhibition Musee des Arts Decoratifs
A scale model of Ponti's Pirelli building features, with the Butterflies chair and desk designed with Piero Fornasetti in 1950 behind

Molteni&C, who provided several pieces for the exhibition, won a court battle against fellow Italian furniture manufacturer Cassina in 2017, after the brand unlawfully produced for sale a copy of the D1563 chair to which Molteni&C holds the sole reproduction license.

Tutto Ponti: Gio Ponti Archi-Designer opened in October 2018, but its run has been extended until 5 May 2019 in response to visitor demand.

Photos are by Luc Boegly.

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