Gio Ponti (1891–1979) was one of the most inventive Italian architects and designers of his time. For more than 60 years, Ponti’s exuberant approach found expression in public and private commissions from buildings, interiors, and furniture to glass, ceramics, and flatware. In 1928, Ponti founded the magazine Domus, and through its pages, he influenced international design for over 50 years. These diverse and prolific achievements led to Ponti’s hiring in 1965, at the age of 74, to collaborate with Denver-based James Sudler Associates on the design of a new building for the Denver Art Museum.
Ponti’s multidisciplinary creativity reflected his insatiable search for innovation and a mind at home with contradiction. He was drawn to classical forms, yet he always looked toward the future. One of the twentieth century’s most influential advocates of mass production, Ponti also valued artisanal craftsmanship. His architecture grew out of concern for essential functions, but he had a passion for surface decoration. The wide range of work on view in this gallery reinforces the vast array of both traditional and modern materials and techniques that Ponti employed throughout his dynamic career.
Gio Ponti: Designer of a Thousand Talents is one of the inaugural exhibitions in the Martin Building's new design galleries, showcasing objects from the museum's architecture and design collection. This collection encompasses one of the most preeminent modern and contemporary design collections of any comprehensive museum in the U.S., featuring a broad range of design practices, including architecture, furniture, and industrial and graphic design.
This exhibition is organized by Darrin Alfred, curator of architecture and design, and was designed by OMA New York and Shohei Shigematsu, OMA partner.