Schätzpreis: 16.000 £ - 22.000 £
ca. 23.916 $ - 32.885 $
Zuschlagspreis: 52.500 £
ca. 78.476 $
Gio Ponti Pair of 'Distex' armchairs, model no. 807, from a Villa, Liguria 1960s Fabric, brass. Each: 86.2 x 79.4 x 108 cm (33 7/8 x 31 1/4 x 42 1/2 in.) Manufactured by Figli di Amedeo Cassina, Meda, Italy. Together with a certificate of authenticity from the Gio Ponti Archives.
Provenance Private collection, Liguria, Italy, 1960s Thence by descent Acquired directly from the above by the present owner Literature Domus, no. 293, April 1954, front cover; nos. 294, 295, 296, May, June, July, 1954, n.p. for an advertisement; no. 308, July 1955, p. 64; 'Accanto all'architettura', no. 312, November 1955, p. 20; 'Una porta, e nuovi mobili', no. 321, August 1956, p. 23 Italian Trade Institute and National Agency for Small Trade Industries and Handicraft, Italian Design, Rome, 1958, p. 88 Lisa Licitra Ponti, Gio Ponti: The Complete Works 1923-1978, London, 1990, p. 160 Irene de Guttry and Maria Paola Maino, Il Mobile Italiano Degli Anni '40 e '50, Bari, 1992, p. 41, fig. 58, p. 241, fig. 37, for an advertisement and a period image Marco Romanelli, Gio Ponti: A World, Milan, 2002, p. 58 Laura Falconi, Gio Ponti: Interiors, Objects, Drawings, 1920-1976, Milan, 2004, pp. 172, 182 Gio Ponti, oggetti di design 1925-1970, exh. cat., Galleria Babuino Novecento, Rome, 2007, pp. 38, 79 Ugo La Pietra, ed., Gio Ponti: L’arte si innamora dell’industria, New York, 2009, p. 226, figs. 466-67, p. 227, fig. 469, p. 232, fig. 487 Catalogue Essay GIO PONTI, IMPORTANT SUITE FROM A PRIVATE VILLA, LIGURIA, CIRCA 1958 Many of Ponti’s most characteristic and famous works are villas. Among these are the “Ange Volant” (Villa Bouilhet) near Garches, France (1926) and the Villa Planchart in Caracas, Venezuela (1955), just to name two of the most prominent. In Ponti’s case the villa typology always has specific design implications: these invariably involve total schemes worked out to the smallest detail. The contents of the Ligurian villa near Genoa of ca. 1958 included in this lot—interior furnishings comprising chairs, sofas, small coffee tables--is no exception to this rule. Yet the ensemble has several features that make it stand out from other villas by Ponti. On the one hand, the set of furniture, which reveals a strong sense of coherence when inserted within its architectural setting, reworks precise prototypes that Ponti had been refining over many decades. On the other hand, even if they are viewed alone, on their own formal, functional and tectonic terms, the set strongly marks the space and in a certain sense, contribute to an intimate domestic signature that may be fruitfully compared with the interiors of Ponti’s other, more well-known villas in Italy, France, Iran and Venezuela. In both cases, an important consideration is relevant: the design objects from this villa belong to diverse formal and historical series made up of prototypes and their variants. This is in keeping with Ponti’s fundamental ideas concerning the relation of architecture and design, and in particular his provocative thesis of the “necessity of beauty”, which involves not only the maintenance of formal continuity between different epochs in the history of styles, but also the will to variation as it unfolds within a single epoch and a single style. Although the Liguran villa has never been published, its authorship is beyond dispute, since it has extensive archival documentation from the Ponti archive in Parma. The villa, in, fact, constitutes a unique instance of Ponti’s architectural ingenuity: in this regard one specific aspect—the corner articulation on the left side of the front façade, where a strict upright wall segment intersects with a folded roof plane—stands out as a pared-down, “domesticated” reading of Le Corbusier’s corner articulation of the chapel of Ronchamp, where the dough-like roof mass and the sloping wall intersect and overlap (1954). Even more clearly, it recalls Ponti’s own roof/wall relationship in the Italian Cultural Institute at Stockholm, which was designed in the same year as Le Corbusier’s pilgrimage church. A number of non-Pontian stylistic features have infiltrated the lower portion of this façade. In any case the upper zone is more powerful, and reveals the hand of the master, in its diverse treatment of blue surrounds
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