Mario Gottardi - Design New York Wednesday, June 9, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Villa Marinotti, Vittorio Veneto

  • Catalogue Essay

    Phillips would like to thank Dr. Caterina Corni for her assistance cataloguing the present lot.

    Mario Gottardi, trained as an architect, was also an exceptional interior designer whose imaginative and superbly constructed works compare favorably with those of his more celebrated Italian contemporaries such as Gio Ponti and Carlo Mollino, both of whom also began their careers as architects.

    A native of Venice, Gottardi graduated from the Politecnico di Milano in 1939 and spent the following decade honing his craft and establishing his reputation. His first significant commissions were the restoration of the Palazzo Nero and the Palazzo Contarini in Venice during the early 1950s. Gottardi was active for the next fifty years, with projects ranging from designing the San Babila cultural center in Milan, creating furnishings for the cruise ships Cristoforo Colombo, Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo, and urban planning in Rome and Turkey.

    One of Gottardi’s earliest, and most significant commissions, was his designing, constructing and furnishing the Villa Marinotti in Vittorio Veneto, a small community forty-five miles north of Venice, beginning in 1950 and finishing two years later. Not only was a unique greenhouse, fully expressing the architect’s rational interpretation of its intended purpose, added to the complex, Gottardi also renewed and revitalized the villa’s interior. The desk offered here was originally created for that commission and beautifully displays the designer’s aesthetic philosophy and architectural proclivity. The desk is sleek and modern, solid yet fluid. The flat, horizontal top surface is offset by its twin angled supports, while the mass of the double rectangular cabinets is relieved by the negative spaces above and between them.

    Although obviously influenced by the artistic principles of the Bauhaus, Gottardi developed his own unique style. He recognized that certain interior design rules had to be followed, but was never restricted or constrained by them, always demonstrating a creative freedom that constantly evoked a truly innovative approach that became the signature of his work. Unfailingly finding a balance between space, form and function, his carefully crafted furniture is practical and functional, yet intimate and refined.


Desk, model no. 586

circa 1954
Walnut, walnut-veneered wood, brass, glass.
30 1/4 x 74 7/8 x 33 1/2 in. (76.8 x 190.2 x 85.1 cm)

$10,000 - 15,000 

Sold for $12,600

Contact Specialist

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New York Auction 9 June 2021