Gio Ponti

Designer of a Thousand Talents
Opens June 6, 2020
vase with Amazon warrior women on horses

Gio Ponti, Italian, 1891–1979, The Triumph of the Amazons Vase, 1925. Porcelain. Manufactured by Richard-Ginori, Milan. Collection of Robert and Lisa Kessler.

5 pieces of flatware, 2 forks, 1 knife, 2 spoons

Gio Ponti, Italian, 1891–1979, Domus Flatware, about 1956, Stainless steel. Manufactured by Krupp Italiana, Milan. Gift of Dung Ngo, 2014.121.1–5.

wood writing desk

Gio Ponti, Italian, 1891–1979, Writing Desk, about 1935. Walnut, brass, and nickel-plated brass. Manufactured by Cassina, Meda, Italy. Funds from 1994 Collectors' Choice, 1998.166.

Distex armchair

Gio Ponti, Italian, 1891–1979, Distex Armchair (model 807), 1954. Brass, Naugahyde, and grass cloth upholstery. Manufactured by Cassina, Meda, Italy. Funds from 1994 Collectors' Choice, 1998.160.

Black and white photo of the Martin Building exteriro view

The Gio Ponti-designed Martin Building (formerly called the North Building). Photo by Wayne Thom.

Opens June 6, 2020
Martin Building - Level 2
Included in general admission
Purchase general admission tickets online.

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.

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