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| Designbest editorial staff


ontanaArte, the historic Italian designer lighting brand, has turned 90. The brand is celebrating this important milestone with the exhibition FontanaArte 90 years of Light and Art during Milano Design Week 2022.

Conceived of by Gio Ponti in 1932, FontanaArte has once again shown itself to be a brand with strong links to the past whilst remaining clearly contemporary. That’s why it has chosen to create a partnership with Cambi d’Aste, an auction house specialized in design collections, to celebrate its near century of history. In a space in via San Marco 26, in the heart of the Brera Design District, the brand is presenting an installation created by its artistic director Francesco Librizzi with the help of Pupilla Grafik. FontanaArte 90 years of Light and Art, created by the photographer Roselena Ramistella in partnership with ZERO, interprets FontanaArte’s lights through the faces and personalities of the people who make concepts and stories in our society shine like the blinding lights of summer. FontanaArte’s history has always intersected with creative and brilliant personalities like Gio Ponti, Pietro Chiesa, Max Ingrand and Gae Aulenti, as well as with other less well-known people who in some way are symbols of our city. “To feel human light, to discover, to change perception is the treasure of this journey with FontanaArte,” explained Andrea Amichetti, the Director of ZERO.

This exhibition will also give an early look at pieces from its historical archive which have remained “buried” until now. The new Caveau Digitale® system will help recount FontanaArte’s 90 years of history in a contemporary key. It was made in collaboration with the Promemoria Group, an Italian organization specialized in promoting the historical heritage of brands, companies, institutions and private collections. The digitized archive will bring all the materials which have been part of the brand’s history back to life, like original drawings by Gio Ponti, a contract signed by Max Ingrand in 1953 and the color miniatures by Luigi Fontana. There are 580 objects including 67 catalogs, 204 photographs, print cards, historical documents, miniatures and press reviews which tell the story of the brand’s triumphs and collaborations with various designers. “As Gio Ponti reminds, ‘for life to be great and full it is necessary to put the past and the future into it’. That’s why the archive is a place of discovery for us,” explained Andrea Montorio, the CEO of Promemoria Group, “where you can look for clues about a past that constantly tells of and confronts the present, all while overcoming it.”

Finally, in order represent the brand’s present and future, FontanaArte is introducing four new projects into this edition of the Salone del Mobile 2022: the Franesi wall lamp designed by Studiolucaguadagnino, the chandelier installation chandelier Tutti by Matilde Cassani Studio, the glass family of lamps Thea designed by Oscar and Gabriele Buratti and Oort, and the modular system by Jacopo Roda.



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