SALERNO, ITALY -- On the eighth floor of the condominium in Via Dezza 49 in Milan, Gio Ponti fully realized his artistic manifesto, his idea of home, where he lived for more than 20 years, until his death. A house made of experimentation and design, room organization and his inevitable love for geometric shapes. These shapes, clear and defined, have been reproduced in the hand-made and decorated terracotta floor, under the evocative name, “Via Dezza” by Ceramica Francesco De Maio.
“Special edition” majolica tiles in a 25- x 25-cm format, with yellow and white diagonal hand-decorated bands. It is exactly this immense expanse of color, so beloved by the Milanese artist that it was installed in his apartment in Via Dezza, which is one of the main elements of the “Gio Ponti. Amare l’architettura” exhibition at MAXXI Museum in Rome, which opened on November 27, 2019.
The exhibition, organized for the 40th anniversary of Ponti’s death, is curated by Maristella Casciato and Fulvio Irace with Margherita Guccione, Salvatore Licitra and Francesca Zanella, and will be exhibited in the gallery 5 of the National Museum of Arts of the XXI Century until April 13, 2020. Made in collaboration with the CSAC of Parma and Gio Ponti Archives, the exhibition presents archival materials, models, photographs, books, magazines and objects ranging from everyday use to housing solutions to the realization of complex projects such as the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan or the Cathedral of Taranto that allow the spectators to discover an excellent protagonist of Italian architecture, whose work has left important traces worldwide. There is a very close link between Gio Ponti and the historic ceramics by Francesco De Maio, the official sponsor of the artist’s retrospective exhibition. Excellence and emblem of the Italian creativity, Francesco De Maio is exclusive for the faithful reproduction of the 33 white and blue hand-decorated majolica tiles, with the same enamels, supports and colors, designed by Gio Ponti for the Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento between 1960 and 1962 in the name of continuity of the ceramic tradition between past, present and future. In February 2017, these tiles were also presented at the exhibition “Gio Ponti. L’Infinito Blu” in the La Triennale picture gallery in Milan.
“We are proud to support this important Italian retrospective ‘Gio Ponti. Amare l’architettura’ at MAXXI Museum in Rome and we are proud to have been chosen by Ponti’s heirs to build the prestigious floor of Via Dezza, so beloved by Gio Ponti,” said Patrizia Famiglietti, art director of Ceramica Francesco De Maio. “A 60-square-meter floor of hand-made and decorated terracotta tiles made in a special edition for the occasion, thus continuing this important ceramic research in collaboration with the Gio Ponti Archives, to make it even more faithful to the unique 1957 piece found by Salvatore and Anna Licitra and realized at the time by the artist Fausto Melotti for Gio Ponti's house in Via Dezza in Milan.”