The book gives an account of the long career of Giovanni Gariboldi, a decorative arts designer specializing in ceramics whose name was inextricably linked to manufacturer Richard Ginori. The book traces Gariboldi’s life from his early days under Art Director Gio Ponti, to his first independent designs for dinner services and single items. After taking on the role of Ginori Art Director himself, he was in charge of designing and mounting all the company exhibitions. He was awarded the Compasso d’Oro for his dinner service “Colonna”, a powerful icon, and sign of a society that was opening up to a new, more modern world.
Gio Ponti, an “unflagging patron and selfless voice for at least two generations of young designers”, (Marco Romanelli) remained a steadfast influence in Giovanni Gariboldi’s career. Although initially looking to Ponti, he soon broke away to form his own independent style, characterized by a tireless and parallel study of shape and technique. Typical, indeed, of his approach was his close association with the skilled workers: he searched for, studied and evaluated new techniques and, in particular, expertly calculated their effect on shape. He believed that any revolution involving society and the art of the table should not be brought about by an “aesthetic coup d’état”, but by continuous and “ferociously” consistent work, despite the lightness of the final look.
Careful research by the author has produced a generous number of designs, preparatory drawings, letters and photographs, many of which have never been published before. These shed light on the multiple activities of a key figure in 20th century Italian industrial design.
The name and artistic career of Giovanni Battista Gariboldi (1908 - 1971) was inextricably linked to the Società Ceramica Richard Ginori, who helped relaunch the decorative and industrial arts in Italy, and for whom he began working in 1926. Following his debut, in close association with Art Director Gio Ponti, Gariboldi soon started to achieve his own recognition (including a Gold Medal at the World Exposition in Paris of 1937). In 1946 he became Richard Ginori Art Director himself . In 1954 he received the Compasso d’Oro for his dinner service “Colonna”, and in 1967 won the Gold Medal at the 25th International Ceramic Art Competition in Faenza.