“Gio Ponti. Loving Architecture” at MAXXI Rome

Architect, designer, art director, writer, poet and critic, Gio Ponti was an all- round artist who traversed much of the 20th century, profoundly influencing the taste of his time, responding to its most significant demands and anticipating many of the themes of contemporary architecture.


Cocathedral of Taranto 1964/70 © Gio Ponti Archives


40 years on from his passing, MAXXI, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts, is devoting a major retro- spective to this exceptional figure. The exhibition examines and presents his multi-faceted career, starting with an account of his architecture, a unique and original synthesis of tradition and modernity, history and progress, elite culture and quotidian existence.


“Gio Ponti. Loving Architecture”
27 November, 2019 – 4 April, 2020
MAXXI – National Museum of XXI Century Arts
Via Guido Reni 4A , Roma


The exhibition title, GIO PONTI. Amare l’architettura (Loving architecture) echoes that of his best-known book, Amate l’architettura (In praise of architecture). Curated by Maristella Casciato (Senior curator of Archi- tectural Collections at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles) and Fulvio Irace (architecture critic and historian) with Margherita Guccione (Director, MAXXI Architettura), Salvatore Licitra (Gio Ponti Archives, Director) and Francesca Zanella (CSAC, President), the show will be hosted in MAXXI’s stunning Gallery 5 from 27 November 2019 to 13 April 2020 and has been produced by MAXXI in collaboration with CSAC – Centro studi e archivio della communicazione of the University of Parma, which conserves Gio Ponti’s professional archive, and the Gio Ponti Archives.


Cocathedral of Taranto 1964/70 © Gio Ponti Archives

Gio Ponti. Villa Planchart a El Cerrito, Caracas. 1953-1957.


For Giovanna Melandri, President of the Fondazione MAXXI, “Celebrating the greatness of Gio Ponti signi- fies immersing ourselves in a legacy that is peerless in terms of versatility, talent and application. Private buildings and public commissions, companies and places of study, objects of everyday use, office and naval furnishings, cathedrals and museums alternate within research that was never dogmatic or ideological, in which there was dialogue between classicism and modernity, the natural landscape and the urban horizon, the social vocation of space and the safeguarding of beauty.”


Pirelli Tower 1956 – 60 © Gio Ponti Archives

House at Harar Dessié Discrict, Milano 1950-55 © Gio Ponti Archives


As Margherita Guccione, Director of MAXXI Architettura says, “Neither classical nor modern, the work of Gio Ponti was unique in the history of Italian 20th century architecture, a century the architect spanned almost in its entirety, ranging from the design of objects of everyday use to the invention of spatial configurations for the modern home and the creation of complex projects embedded within the urban context, maintaining architec ture, setting and saving grace of our lives, as the fixed core of his research.


Montecatini 1 del 1935 – 38 and Montecatini 2, 1947 – 51 © Gio Ponti Archives

Montecatini 1 del 1935 – 38 and Montecatini 2, 1947 – 51 © Gio Ponti Archives

School of Mathematics, Roma 1932 – 35 © Gio Ponti Archives


The exhibition is the fruit of painstaking research that has aimed to update our understanding of the figure of Ponti the architect, highlighting a number of the guiding issues underlying his long career and his extraordi- nary ability to foreshadow the spaces and concepts of contemporary architectural practice. His aspiration to- wards verticality and lightness through the dematerialization of facades, his conception of a green city in which nature returns to playing a key role in the agenda of planning and architecture, as well as designing flexible domestic spaces, capable of adapting to the demands of their users, are without doubt themes that, over half a century ago, anticipated with unique clarity the concerns of the present-day.


News source: MAXXI
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