What connects resin, architecture and femininity? Gaetano Pesce of course! The Italian wonder is one of the biggest names in the field of artistic architecture and design. He was born in La Spezia in 1939 and studied at the University Of Venice Faculty Of Architecture. With expertise in painting, sculpture, design, theatre, film, and architecture Pesce was a unique man who blended his talent with his commendable insight into art.
After growing up in Padua and
Venice, in 1967 Pesce left Italy and decided to do some traveling. He went to New York in the 1970s and where he lives currently. He taught at the Cooper Union in NY and also at the Institut d’Architecture et d’Etudes Urbaines in Strasbourg.
In 1968, Pesce’s reputation as an established design whiz soared as his armchair series called “UP” was first showcased in the Milan Furniture Show. What was interesting about this series was its conceptualization and innovation. It was a series of seven chairs each designed for different people –one for a child, one for an adult, one for more than one person and so on. Hence it was named “UP”. However this wasn’t the best part of his design. These organic chairs were all packaged in PVC envelopes. When these envelopes were opened, the chairs would open fully showcasing their startling beauty.
Following the UP series he came up with many splendid designer works like the “Rag Chair” in 1972, the “Sit Down chair” in 1976 and the Dalila chairs in 1980. Also in 1980, Pesce made a New York Sunrise Sofa which was strikingly simple in structure and breathtakingly beautiful at the same time. It is a set of seven pieces resembling the New York skyscrapers and a backrest of bright red orange that looked like the rising sun.
A very notable chair among all his previous ones however, was designed in 1993 –The Broadway Chair. It has a transparent seat and the back of the chair is made up of epoxy resin. To the legs of the chair, he attached springs, enabling the chair to swing back and forth. And just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, he designed an Umbrella Chair. This marvel could be folded like an umbrella and with the push of a button, could open into a comfortable chair with a back rest.
His diligent efforts and compulsive works won him the Chrysler Award for Innovation and Design in 1993. Pesce was commissioned for many projects including Les Halles; Parc de la Villette in Paris; the Shuman Residence in New York; and Gallery Mountains in Belgium. His construction of the Organic Building in Osaka, Japan is highly appreciated.
What makes Pesce stand out among all his contemporaries is that he made his art accessible to almost everybody. This was because he believed that his lavish use of color and reflection of everyday objects and emotions like joy, optimism and even sensuality could go a long way. He believed in the capability of his work to express.