One wouldn’t guess it from the thin Wikipedia entry devoted to him, but Gio Ponti was one of the most influential and prolific designers in postwar Italy, helping to establish the nation’s legacy as a design powerhouse. During his lifetime (he died in 1979 at 87), the maestro worked as an architect (building in 13 countries), an industrial designer (working with more than a hundred companies), and a magazine editor (of Domus and, later, Stile). Vivere all Ponti, the most recent exhibition dedicated to his work, wisely tackles only a small slice of his oeuvre: his domestic designs.
In addition to featuring some historical documents, including interior photos and personal letters, the exhibit showcases a Ponti-designed furniture collection reissued by Molteni&C (a corporate sponsor, along with the textile company Rubelli) and a limited-edition, low-slung armchair, which Ponti designed for his own Milan home on the Via Dezza. The chair is upholstered in a choice of two fabrics, Punteggiato and Rattoppato, patterns that the designer developed for Rubelli in the 1930s.
Vivere all Ponti is open until September 28 (by appointment only) in Palazzo Corner Spinelli, the 15th-century edifice that also houses Rubelli’s archives.