PESCE Gaetano

Gaetano PESCE

Italy (Born in 1939)

Gaetano Pesce studied at Instituto Universitario si Architettura and at Design Institute in Venice. He opened an office in Padua where, in 1959, he became a founding member of Gruppo N. He experimented in programmed art and collaborated with Gruppo Zero in Germany. Groupe de Recherche d’Art Visuel in Paris (at this time know as motus), and Gruppo T in Milan. Gaetano Pesce rejected the smooth contours of early 1960’s Italian design in favor of Pop art and the kinetic and conceptual design movements. In 1961, he worked at the Hochschule für Gestalung in Ulm. Gaetano Pesce began to design in 1962, to explore plastic in 1964, and to execute furniture in 1968. His work in plastic was first realized in his innovative 1969 UP series of inexpensive chairs produced by B&B Italia, including the doughnut-shaped UP 5 armchair. The UP 7 was a flesh-colored model in the form of a giant foot. Pesce rendered quilt-draped furniture pieces for Cassina. He was a participant in the Anti-Design movement with Ugo la Pietra, and was active in avant-garde groups, including Gruppo Strum and UFO. His work in the fields of art, audio visual presentations, architecture, and design were realized through Kinetic objects, multiples, and serigraphs. He published Manifesto on Elastic Architecture (1965). Gaetano Pesce explored what he saw as the alienation between peaople and objects in consumer culture. He used distorsion and exaggeration to draw attention to this. Among other objects, Pesce produced nihilistic pieces of « decaying » design. His 1987 Feltri chair in thick felt and quilted fabric produced by Cassina brought him close to his goal of creating individualistic and expressive forms of architecture-furniture. Gaetano Pesce liked felt for its cheapness, recycleability, and suitability for the developing world. His approach remained unorthodox for his 1980 seating for Cassina, Tramonto a New York(Manhattan Sunrise). In which a vinyl-upholstered « sun » rose over foam-covered cushions in a weave suggesting buildings. His 1985-86 design of the interior of photographer and collector Marc-André Hubin on the avenue Foch in Paris was widely published. Gaetano Pesce taught architecture at the Instituto Universitario de Architettura, Venice, and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New-York, and, in 1987, was visiting professor at the school of architecture in São Paulo. From the late 1970’s, he taught at Ecole d’architecture, Strasbourg, influencing a new generation of designers.