It has been long, too long, since we have seen an exhibition devoted to Gio Ponti (1891-1979), often referred to as the Dean of Italian Design, a Renaissance man who drew from the Italian past in creating the modern and the future. At times, it seems that Ponti’s strong presence in the marketplace has overshadowed any academic or curatorial discussions, and thus the new show ‘Modern Living: Giò Ponti and the 20th-Century Aesthetics of Design,’ curated by Perri Lee Roberts of University of Miami, at the Georgia Museum of Art is a great and refreshing effort. This jeweled show comes to survey the six-decade, global career of this giant, who was positioned at all of the crucial intersections in the history of modern design. His long and spectacular career included the foundation of Domus Magazine, endless commissions, buildings, skyscrapers, interiors, furniture, industrial design, which had come to shape the contribution of Italy to the story of modern design. Comprised of masterpieces that represent the various periods of Ponti’s activity, all borrowed from American museums and private collections, this exhibition has resulted in an illustrated catalog, the first in English, in a very long time. And, if you don't get to visit the exhibition, you can buy the book, which illustrates every object in the exhibition, along with vintage photographs from the Ponti Archives. Hardcover; 128 pp.; $50; ISBN: 978-1-946657-01-5. All images courtesy of the Georgia Museum of Art. Above: Desk from the Societa Vetrocoke Building, Milan, 1939. Collection of Jack Deamer.
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