Gio Ponti - Design Evening New York Thursday, December 13, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Primavera Gallery, New York
    Murray Moss and Franklin Getchell, New York, acquired from the above
    Phillips de Pury & Company, New York, "Moss: Dialogues Between Art & Design," October 16, 2012, lot 8
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Ferdinand Lundquist, Gothenburg, Sweden, 1955

  • Literature

    "Mobili a Göteborg," Domus, no. 307, June 1955, illustrated pp. 48-49
    Ugo La Pietra, ed., Gio Ponti, New York, 2009, illustrated p. 188

  • Catalogue Essay

    Gio Ponti developed the concept of the "Parete Organizzata" (organized wall), a system for assembling shelves, lighting, and objects all within a single panel, in the late 1940s. The present version, created for an exhibition at the department store Ferdinand Lundquist in Gothenburg, Sweden in 1955, features two shelves for books of different sizes, a four-sided shelf for books and objects, a row of tempered glass shelves for magazines, and an illuminated niche.

    The Ferdinand Lundquist exhibition came on the heels of two major American exhibitions that Ponti participated in as part of a larger post-war promotional blitz on the part of Italy following World War II. Italy at Work: Her Renaissance in Design Today opened at the Brooklyn Museum in 1950 before going on a three-year tour to twelve other museums. The other exhibition, which took place in 1954 and was initiated by James Plaut at the Institute of Modern Art in Boston, was a solo show devoted to Ponti and also traveled to several different venues in the United States. In Gothenburg, Ponti continued the momentum of the American tours, presenting his furniture designs alongside photographs of recent work by the studio Ponti-Fornaroli-Rosselli. Ponti also presented his industrial designs for Krupp Italiana and, ever the tireless promoter of Italian artisans, he included ceramics by Fausto Melotti and Guido Gambone, as well as Venini glass and enamels by Paolo de Poli.

    The “organized wall” served as the ideal promotional piece for these wares; it is a piece of furniture that inspires the collecting and display of treasured objects and books. The magazine shelves, made of the Vitrex glass so favored by Italian architects and designers of the era, offered the perfect place to display influential design journals such as Ponti’s own publication Domus. The “organized wall” was, in sum, an exhibition-ready, Italian-design-promoting machine and it served Ponti’s purposes so well that he made similar versions for subsequent exhibitions, such as the XI Milan Triennale.

  • Artist Biography

    Gio Ponti

    Italian • 1891 - 1979

    Among the most prolific talents to grace twentieth-century design, Gio Ponti defied categorization. Though trained as an architect, he made major contributions to the decorative arts, designing in such disparate materials as ceramics, glass, wood and metal. A gale force of interdisciplinary creativity, Ponti embraced new materials like plastic and aluminum but employed traditional materials such as marble and wood in original, unconventional ways.

    In the industrial realm, he designed buildings, cars, machinery and appliances — notably, the La Cornuta espresso machine for La Pavoni — and founded the ADI (Industrial Designer Association). Among the most special works by Gio Ponti are those that he made in collaboration with master craftsmen such as the cabinetmaker Giordano Chiesa, the illustrator Piero Fornasetti and the enamellist Paolo de Poli.

    View More Works

Property from a Private Miami Beach Collection


Illuminated "Parete Organizzata"

circa 1955
Brazilian rosewood-veneered wood, painted wood, painted metal, glass, brass.
82 1/4 x 116 1/4 x 18 1/4 in. (208.9 x 295.3 x 46.4 cm)
Executed by Giordano Chiesa, Milan, Italy. Glass produced by Vitrex, Italy. Each glass shelf acid-etched VITREX. Reverse of two shelves impressed ARREDAMENTI/CHIESA/VIA MORTARA 17/MILANO (ITALIA). Together with a certificate of expertise from the Gio Ponti Archives.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $87,500

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Design Evening

New York Auction 13 December 2018