An Exploratory Form
During the early 1950s, Gio Ponti was exploring the development of an ovoid table form with three legs; in studies for the Furnished Window (1953-1954), Ponti includes a maquette of an ovular table with a rounded underside while a sketch from the Gio Ponti archives (reference no. 07045) shows a similar form with a sculptural void in the center. This rare coffee table is one of only a few examples created, each featuring subtle variations, as Ponti refined his design. Due to the complex nature of the form and the fabrication costs involved, this table was never put into production.
Furnished Window, 1953-1954
Drawing from the Gio Ponti Archive, reference no. 07045
Gio Ponti 1891–1979
Gio Ponti excelled at painting as a child and expressed a fervent interest in the arts. Feeling that a career in architecture was preferable to that of a painter, Ponti’s parents encouraged him to pursue the former and in 1914 he enrolled at the Faculty of Architecture at the Politecnico di Milano. His studies were interrupted by war, and in 1915 he was forced to postpone his education. He served as a captain in the Pontonier Corps until 1919, earning multiple military honors. After graduating in 1921, Ponti married Giulia Vimercati, the daughter of local aristocracy and started an architecture firm. During this time, Ponti aligned himself with the neoclassical movement, Novecento and championed a revival of the arts and culture. In 1928, Ponti founded Domus, a periodical tailored to artists and designers, as well as the broader public. A shift occurred in the 1930s when Ponti took up a teaching post at his alma mater, the Politecnico di Milano. In search of new methods to express Italian modernity, Ponti distanced himself from the sentiments of Novecento and sought to reconcile art and industry. Together with the engineers, Eugenio Soncini and Antonio Fornaroli, Ponti enjoyed great success in the industrial sector, securing various commissions throughout Italy. In the 1950s, he gained international fame with the design of the Pirelli Tower in Milan and he was asked to be a part of the urban renewal of Baghdad, collaborating with top architects from around the world. His 1957 book, Amate l’architettura, is considered to be a microcosm of his work —an incredible legacy spanning art, architecture, industrial design, publishing and academia.
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