Since its opening, Galleria Michela Cattai has focused on the study, research and selection of works of Modern and Contemporary Art and Design by some of the most important artists and designers of the twentieth century and brought them together under one roof.

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© 2016 Galleria Michela Cattai


Gio Ponti


After graduating, the architect Gio Ponti, opened a studio with the architects Mino Fiocchi and Emilio Lancia in Milan. He later collaborated with the prestigious ceramic firm Richard Ginori. He became director of architecture and design magazines ‘Domus’ and ‘Stile’. Here he published his most significant projects and he kept in touch with new tendencies as well as Italian and foreign established professionals. The result was the expression of his maturity together with the innovational projects. The architect largely contributioned to the realization and the birth of the ADI (the Italian association of Design), the ‘Compasso d’Oro Award’and also to the launching of  ‘Made in Italy’ in the United States. Gio Ponti’s projects marked the Italian design of the fifties, such as the Superleggera chair and the Distex armchair for Cassina, whose slender and straight side line reflect the evolution of its shape. He designed a variety of furniture, such as beds with sidetables, blade-thin desks, embossed outline furniture, self-illuminating furniture and walls units. He created hotel bedrooms in which all the furniture was fixed to the wall and featured furniture sets which could be hid behind decorative walls. Gio Ponti covered the furniture with fabric, decorations by Paolo De Poli and Edina Altara and with paper by Fornasetti. He constantly updated his designs with avant-guarde concepts, aware of his power in the Italian culture. He wrote books and magazines and designed glass and ceramics, fabrics, cars, furnishings, lights, tiles and paintings. He also designed villas and buildings, skyscrapers, hospitals and factories. He created a symbol of Italian modernity with the ‘Pirelli’ skyscraper in Milan in 1956. His most outstanding projects are the following: university of Padua in 1940, Cremaschi’s house in  Milano in 1950, Lucano’s apartment in Milan in1951, Ponti’s house in Dezza Street in Milan in 1956-57, Planchart villa in Caracas in 1954, ‘Diamantina’ villa in Caracas in 1955, Namazee villa in Teheran in 1960, Hotel Parco dei Principi in Sorrento in 1960 and in Rome in 1964


  • Graduated in architecture from the Instituto Politecnico di Milano
  • 1923 Participated in the Biennale di Arti Decorative at the Isia di Monza and organised different Triennali in Monza and Milan
  • 1926-1933 he opened the studio with Emilio Lancia
  • 1928 Founded and became director of the design and architecture magazine Domus
  • 1933 Director of Fontanta Arte
  • 1933-1945 Collaborated with the engineers Antonio Fornaroli and Eugenio Soncini
  • 1941 Founded and became director of the design and architecture magazine Stile
  • 1950s Worked with Krupp, Cassina and Cristofle
  • 1956 Constructed the skyscraper ‘Pirelli’ in Milan


  • 1923        Biennale di Arti  Decorative in Monza
  • 1954        Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
  • 1957        Christofle, Paris
  • 1966        UCLA Art Galleries, Los Angeles
  • 1980        Homage to Giò Ponti, Palazzo della Permanente in Milano
  • 1990        Monografia, Giò Ponti/  Lisa Licitra Ponti
  • 1995        Monografia, Giò Ponti/ Ugo La Pietra