The professional lives of Olivari and architects who are legends in the history of design overlap. In the past and in the present. In Paris, two exhibitions recount the fruitful collaboration between the centenary manufacturer of handles and eclectic authors, first among them, Gio Ponti.
One can admire his creations at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs until 10 February 2019, in a retrospective dedicated to the lengthy career of the master and curated by Olivier Gabet, Dominique Forest, Sophie Bouilhet-Dumas and Salvatore Licitra, in collaboration with ‘Gio Ponti Archives’. In ‘Tutto Ponti, Gio Ponti archi-designer’, the aspects of his work and his complex figure as architect, designer and multifaceted creator are explored through more than 500 pieces, including the three handles Lama, Cono and Anello, designed for Olivari in 1956.
The same handles that, in parallel, appear with their original prototypes in the context of another exhibition, open until 10 February 2019: ‘Olivari, 100 years of handles’, this time hosted in the Ballauff showroom, at Place des Vosges 21, official distributor of the Lombardy company. Along with the pieces of Ponti, one can see the fervent production from the 1930s to the 1970s, born from the collaboration with the architects Marcello Piacentini, Angelo Mangiarotti, Ignazio Gardella, Studio BBPR, Marcello Nizzoli, Sergio Asti, Franco Albini and Franca Helg, Luigi Caccia Dominioni, Vico Magistretti and Magnaghi and Terzaghi, Joe Colombo.
Continuing with the handles made still to this day, designed by the world’s most important international architects and designers, including Rem Koolhaas, Zaha Hadid, Ben Van Berkel, Jean Nouvel, Dominique Perrault, Toyo Ito, Steven Holl, Daniel Libeskind, Piero Lissoni, Rodolfo Dordoni, Patricia Urquiola, Vincent Van Duysen, who have sought to express their personal touch in a small “architecture taken by the hand”. Both Parisian shows showcase the strong bond between Olivari and the world of design and the family’s extraordinary passion, handed down from generation to generation.