The full Ponti
The Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris is staging an exhibition on the oeuvre of architect and designer Gio Ponti.
In this his first design work for Cassina, Rodolfo Dordoni has come up with a collection of extraordinary lightness and constructional know-how, authentic structural cabinet-making joinery and taut leather surfaces. This is a project that inevitably calls up not only a comparison with the great legacy of Gio Ponti, but also the teaching of Franco Albini. Dordoni has tackled the commission demonstrating his mastery of his materials and his capability of availing himself of Cassina’s vast realm of experience, without the need to give himself over to a thrill of meeting a challenge. On the contrary, echoes of the great masters appear in the design not as quotations but rather as antidote to the risks of a skeletal minimalism. In designing Pilotta - chair, full-size and small armchairs, and ottomans - Dordoni stays clear of working on elementary geometrical lines or the essential nature of a conceptual approach. His path is rather the modelling of the outlines, the study of the joints and structural cross-winds as the occasion to create a real and proper shape-and-form grammar with constructional technology. Wholehearted simplicity that redeems the force of the triangle and diagonal elements. Light but never spindly, Dordoni’s designs call to mind the serene self-possession of the bourgeois home, not the need for surprises one after the other but rather the solid quality of the articles. Seats and backs that provide solid support without skimping on the comfort, solidity without excessive bulk, wood and leather. It is a landscape of objects criss-crossed by light which seems to evoke both the Mediterranean sun and the clear skies of northern Europe at the same time. This is particularly evident in the design of the Boboli tables, rigorously geometrical and imaginative in their structure. The table-tops are clean-cut and uncluttered, in glass, marble or wood, but what comes as a surprise is the support feature, either the central pedestal or the trestle version, both done as a metal cage, but not closed in by rigid bars but by festoons of aluminium -acquered or chromed - folded with a slight twist on the vertical axis. All the taste of the Viennese Secession is there in a design of surprising happiness, done with reflexes, transparency and opacity.
|Table finish||table with column base|
|Table top shape||rectangular|