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Fontana Arte

Fontana Arte (Italy)
Fontana Arte (Italy)

Best known for its elegant and innovative lighting pieces, the Milan-based firm Fontana Arte pioneered one of the key features of 20th-century and contemporary Italian design: the union of artistry and industry wrought by partnerships between creative talents — chiefly architects — and entrepreneurial businesses. Fontana Arte is further distinguished by having had as artistic director, in succession, four of Italy’s most inventive modernist designers: Giò Ponti, Pietro Chiesa, French transplant Max Ingrand and Gae Aulenti.

The bread and butter of the glassmaking company that Luigi Fontana founded in 1881 was plate-glass panels for the construction industry. In 1930, Fontana met Ponti — then the artistic director of the Richard-Ginori ceramics workshop and the editor of the influential magazine Domus— at a biannual design exhibition that became the precursor to today’s Milan Design Triennale, and the two hatched an idea for a furniture and housewares firm. Fontana Arte was incorporated in 1932 with Ponti as its chief of design. He contributed several lamps that remain among the company’s signature works, including the orb-atop-cone Bilia table lamp and the 0024 pendant — a stratified hanging sphere. 

The following year, Fontana Arte partnered with the influential Milan studio glassmaker and retailer Pietro Chiesa, who took over as artistic director. Chiesa’s designs for lighting — as well as for tables and items including vases and ashtrays — express an appreciation for fluidity and simplicity of line, as seen in works such as his flute-shaped Luminator floor lamp and the 1932 Fontana table — an arched sheet of glass that is held in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art

Six years after Chiesa’s 1948 death, the École des Beaux Arts–trained Max Ingrand took over as head of design at Fontana Arte. Ingrand brought a similarly expressive formal sensibility to wares such as lamps and mirrors, but he also had a masterful eye for the manipulation of glass surfaces — whether they be cut, frosted, acid-etched or sand-blasted. His classic design is the Fontana table lamp of 1954, which has a truncated cone shade and curved body, both of which are made of pure, chic white-frosted glass. 

Following Ingrand, the often-audacious Italian architect Gae Aulenti served as the company’s artistic director from 1979 to 1996, and while she generally insisted that furnishings take second place aesthetically to architecture, she made an exception for Fontana Arte pieces such as the Tavolo con Ruote series of glass coffee and dining tables on wheels, bold lighting pieces such as the Parola series and the Giova, a combination flower vase and table lamp. As a key incubator of modern design under Aulenti’s tenure, Fontana Arte remained true to its long-held commitment — creating objects that have never been less than daring.

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Creator:Fontana Arte
Dealer:Chez Camille
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Pietro Chiesa/ Max Ingrand, Wall Mirror for Fontana Arte Frosted Glass, Brass
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This is a traditional wall mirror, by Pietro Chiesa/Max Ingrand, documented in book, Allemandi & Co, 2012 fig 385 and 433. Acid mark at corner as shown. Acid mark at corner back.
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass, Mirror

Fontana Arte, Very Rare Pietro Chiesa, Glass, Smokey Ashtray, Acid and FX Signed
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass

Fontana Arte Glass/ Crystal, Dish, Vide-Poche, Free Form Shape Signed FX
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass, Art Glass

Fontana Arte Glass Tray by Dube, Duilio Barnabe, Abstract Painting, Signed
By Fontana Arte, Duilio Dubé Bernabe
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass

Max Ingrand Glass and Brass Table Lamp for Fontana Arte, Model 2206
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Brass, Glass

Fontana Arte Lidded Glass Bowl by Max Ingrand.Signed
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

1960s Italian Mid-Century Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass

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Fontana Arte, Very Rare Pietro Chiesa, Glass, Smokey Ashtray, Acid and FX Signed
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Max Ingrand Glass and Brass Table Lamp for Fontana Arte, Model 2206
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Fontana Arte Lidded Glass Bowl by Max Ingrand.Signed
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Fontana Arte Glass/ Crystal, Dish, Vide-Poche, Free Form Shape Signed FX
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Fontana Arte Glass Tray by Dube, Duilio Barnabe, Abstract Painting, Signed
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Barovier & Toso, Threaded Yellow/Gold Murano Glass Wall/Table, Vanity Mirror
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Ercole Barovier Murano Glass and Gold Centerpiece for Artistica Barovier
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Category

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Materials

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Archimede Seguso, Murano Glass/Gold, Rare Vase "Three Element" Signed
By Archimede Seguso
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

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Materials

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Ercole Barovier "A Stelle" Large, Rare, Murano Glass Table Lamp
By Ercole Barovier
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Category

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Bottega Karin, Reverse Glass Painting, Églomisé Table Lamp, Design Attb, Laszlo
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Category

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Fulvio Bianconi, Venini Satin Iridescent Murano Glass Vase Rare 4-Line Acid Mark
By Fulvio Bianconi, Maria Theresa Venini 1
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

1940s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Art Glass, Blown Glass, Murano Glass

Venini, Murano Glass Bowl/Small Vase Acid Signed 'Venini, Murano, Italia' 3 Line
By Paolo Venini, Fulvio Bianconi & Paolo Venini
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass, Art Glass

Previously Available Items
Fontana Arte Rare Pair of Glass 'Vide Poche" Bowls, Dish, Freeform, Both Signed
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Rare hand blown, handcut, pair of Fontana Arte bowls, dishes, both signed with the FA and very, very light acid Fontana mark. Designer ATTB; Max Ingrand. These bowls (Pair) are handc...
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Cut Glass

Pietro Chiesa / Fontana Arte Glass / Brass Picture Frame
By Fontana Arte, Pietro Chiesa
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Beautiful Fontana Arte picture frame, signed with acid mark.
Category

1950s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Brass

Max Ingrand Glass Bookends for Fontana Arte, Signed
By Fontana Arte, Max Ingrand
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Very nice and well know bookends by Max Ingrand for Fontana Arte, with acid stamp plus Fontana Arte diamond point signature.
Category

1960s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass

Erwin Walter Burger Faceted Small Glass Bowl, Fontana Arte, Signed, Kunstglas
By Fontana Arte, Erwin Walter Burger
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Burger was the director of Fontana Arte in the early Mid-Century and he designed and made glass pieces like this for Fontana Arte. This bowl is signed "Kunstglas Burger, Milan Italy.
Category

1960s Italian Modern Vintage Fontana Arte

Materials

Glass