Pietro Chiesa

Milan, 1892 - Paris, 1948

He was son of the painter Pietro Chiesa. He began his training in Milan under the painter and maker of furniture and flat glass Giovan Battista Gianotti. In 1921 Chiesa opened his own studio and store in Milan which traded under the name of “Bottega di Pietro Chiesa S.A.”. At the beginning, he made primarily mirrors and leaded lights designed by himself and other architects. In 1923 together with Tomaso Buzzi, Emilio Lancia, Michele Marelli, Gio Ponti, Paolo Venini and Carla Visconti di Modrone formed the artists’ association “Il Labirinto” to promote contemporary applied art. From 1925 he collaborated with Gustavo Pulitzer on commissions to design windows for the luxury liners Saturnia, Vulcania, Conte Grande, and Conte di Savoia. In 1930’s the emphasis lied on making lamps matted or decorated by sandblasting. Chiesa participated to IV Triennale in 1930 in Monza showing sandblasted decorative windows and mirrors and in 1932 to the XVIII Biennale in Venice. In 1933 he became partner in Luigi Fontana & C. which took over Chiesa’s store. Together with Gio Ponti, he was artistic director of the new artistic department of Luigi Fontana & C., the socalled Fontana Arte. Chiesa designed a thousand of prototypes for the production of small, technically complicated series in his own workshops: glass vessels and objects, windows, mirrors, furniture and lighting fixtures. From 1935 he was head designer at Fontana Arte because Gio Ponti designed only occasionally. During the II World War the workshops were damaged and moved as a result of wartime hostilities. In 1945 Chiesa stopped designing.

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