The collection
Wood chair with extremely slender legs and frame and a caned seat.

Side Chair, Superleggera

Designed by
Gio Ponti (1891–1979)
Ash, cellophane cane
Produced by
Figli di Amedeo Cassina, Meda, Italy
85.3 x 40.4 x 44.9 cm

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Collection, D83.115.1

Gio Ponti, as an architect, industrial designer, and founder-editor of the design magazine Domus, was an extremely influential spokesman for the modernist cause. His furniture designs often use traditional elements in a new way and tend to be light, with elegant, spare lines.

Superleggera is an update of an earlier vernacular chair called Chiavari, named for the fishing village where this kind of light, wooden chair was made—the total weight of this chair is just 1.4 kilos. This design, illustrating Italy’s traditional craftsmanship, was shown at the XI Triennale in 1957 and won a Compasso d’Oro prize the same year.

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photo: Giles Rivest.