Inspiration Mohdboards

Gaetano Pesce, between art and design.


The artist-designer who above all mixed art and design, unique works and mass-produced pieces, the author of icons that have marked the history of furniture such as the Up series for B&B Italia and the Feltri armchair for Cassina. He has the merit of having interpreted the hottest topics and times, often from a provocative viewpoint, and of having translated his creative urgency and denunciation in audacious and experimental furniture – always with a hint of irony – that have touched the hearts and opened the minds of many for generations. His projects are halfway between the functionality and comfort of furniture and the purest installation for art’s own sake, furnishings-sculptures that have shaped unique interior spaces, the timeless legacy of a creative mind who cannot be tied by labels or stopped by criticism. Whether you love him or not, he is Gaetano’s Pesce.

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“In the mid-1990s Gaetano Pesce started using resin, an industrial material, to produce art and design. In the early 2000s, the designer entrusted artisan Andrea Corsi of Corsi Design to create a new range of products in resin, a series of ever-changing collection. Among the techniques, the use of moulds, colored pigments, spatula strokes, mixing, pouring, extruding, using the resin as if it was clay.”

Gaetano Pesce

Eccentric, provocative, visionary. Gaetano Pesce (La Spezia, 1939) studied architecture at the University of Venice; during his youth, the designer wrote a manifesto championing incoherence, an artist’s right and necessity to change, to be free, to avoid repetition. The boundaries between art, design and industry become irrelevant when analyzing his work, since art itself is a product and the creative answer to current needs.

Corsi Design Pompitu

During his four-decade-long career made of experimentation with materials, languages and technology, he has conceived unique pieces that have marked the history of design, such as those for B&B Italia: Up (1969), a collection of voluptuous seats, such as Up7 or the famed Up5_6 armchair,

the first industrial design piece that channelized a political message about women's condition, portraying the female body as a prisoner chained to a ball. The author explains: "For me, this armchair was a way of expressing other contents besides those concerning the advanced technique, the new material and the comfort of the product. The reality of that time hardly mentioned the problem of violence against women. I thought that this serious sign of incivility, which existed in all countries worldwide, would decrease in time, but unfortunately it did not."

Gaetano Pesce’s personality is not easy to label. His work ranges from architecture to urban planning, from interior to industrial design. The Feltri armchair for Cassina is one of Pesce’s masterpieces. “The Feltri, the latest expression of innovative design from 1987, returns to the scene, still pleasingly youthful despite its advancing years thanks to a successful face-lift carried out by Cassina’s expert surgeons” explains Pesce about the restyling of the piece. This armchair is an ironic reference to a royal throne and the outcome of a figurative research carried out in a hybrid area between art and functionality.

B&B Italia UP50

The armchair is entirely made of thick wool felt with an enveloping, soft and malleable backrest; the lower section, meanwhile, is rigid and sturdy, thanks to being impregnated with a thermosetting resin, crafted using a patented production technique. In all his work, he expresses his guiding principle: that modernism is less a style than a method for interpreting the present and hinting at the future in which individuality is preserved and celebrated.

B&B Italia UP50
Louis Poulsen AJ
B&B Italia Up 5_6

Pesce’s work is featured in over 30 permanent collections of the world’s most important museums, such as MoMa of New Yorkand San Francisco, Metropolitan Museum in New York, Vitra Museum in Germany, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Centre Pompidou and Musee des Arts Décoratifs of Louvre in Paris.

B&B Italia Up 5_6
B&B Italia UP2
B&B Italia UP1
B&B Italia UP3
B&B Italia UP4

In the mid-1990s Gaetano Pesce started using resin, an industrial material, to produce art and design. In the early 2000s, the designer entrusted artisan Andrea Corsi of Corsi Design to create a new range of products in resin, a series of ever-changing collection. Among the techniques, the use of moulds, colored pigments, spatula strokes, mixing, pouring, extruding, using the resin as if it was clay.

Cassina 520 Accordo
Cassina Nuvola Rossa
karakter Vases
Cassina 357 Feltri

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