”The spring of an ancient tree”: Solo show by Lisa Ponti at The Breeder

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The Breeder presents a solo show by the Italian artist, critic and editor Lisa Ponti (b. 1922, Milan; d. 2019, Milan), organized in collaboration with Octagon (Milan), an exhibition space run by artist Jacopo Mazzetti.

Lisa Ponti’s career started with her work for popular and influential design magazine Stile (1941-1947) and then as editor-in-chief (1948-1966) and deputy director (1966-1986) of the architectural magazine Domus, where she was responsible for the magazine’s art pages through the critical postwar period. The magazine was very influential at the time and was distinguished among others for maintaining an intense collaboration with artists, allotting features and interviews to many prominent figures from Lucio Fontana, Piero Manzoni, Yves Klein, Ettore Sottsass and Christo through to Robert Wilson, Tony Cragg, Arakawa & Gins, and Basquiat.

While working for both of these magazines, which were established by her father, internationally renowned architect Gio Ponti, she substantially contributed to shaping a vivid art and culture scene in postwar Italy. Lisa Ponti was always at the forefront of her father’s creative activity and connections. He always encouraged her artistic endeavors and they regularly collaborated throughout her career. Perhaps one of the artist’s greatest legacies, has always been the important and deep relationships that she cultivated and maintained in her life with many artists and intellectuals that she bonded with over their intense and sincere passion concerning art.

Lisa Ponti, What to do?, ink, sticker and watercolor on A4 paper, 21 x 29.7cm, 8.3 x 11.7 in.

Despite drawing for almost all of her life for others, Lisa Ponti was 70 years old when she first showed her work publicly as an artist, with a solo exhibition in 1992. Throughout her artistic career her style and the manner in which she approaches art has remained succinctly consistent. Her most preferred and never changing medium has always been the “utilitarian”, world standard A4 paper: “It’s a universal format, so the drawing knows where to land. A4 is putting yourself in the limits that entice you. Inside the standard, the minimum reduces the immense to
the distance between the marks.”

These dainty lines and strokes, which are at the core of her artistic expression, carry through them a sense of whimsicality, spontaneity and purity that the artist let unfold. Despite that, she never strays away from approaching diverse, sometimes melancholic topics through her drawings. It is exactly this apparent and seemingly simplistic, almost childlike, nature of her “artless” compositions that makes them so intriguing and captivating. It’s her innate ability to aim for the portrayal of complex feelings and emotions through the simplest of imagery. Each brushstroke, pen, pencil or marker line carries a profound intentionality, imbuing her work with a calm and meditative sense of clarity, that glows beyond the edges of the paper.


Thursday 14 March 2024 - Saturday 13 April 2024

Opening Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11-7pm, Saturday 11-5pm

The Breeder , 45 Iasonos st, 10436, Athens, Greece

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