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Gaetano Pesce

1939 La Spezia

The Italian designer Gaetano Pesce is one of the most independent thinkers in the international design scene. Probably best described as an artist-designer, Gaetano Pesce has always pursued a policy of emphasizing the individuality of the object. He succeeds in individualizing serial designs by using materials such as acrylic resin and silicone, which, in the manufacturing process, still leave something up to chance. As a result, the uniqueness of a product designed by Gaetano Pesce is not defined by such abstract conceptions as beauty but is deliberately left with flaws and can even seem shapeless.
Gaetano Pesce studied architecture and industrial design in Venice from 1959 until 1965 in Venice and lived in Padua until 1967, where he worked as an artist and film-maker.
In 1968 Gaetano Pesce developed "Up", a line in seat furniture for B&B Italia. These pieces, also described by Gaetano Pesce as transformational furniture, are made of polyurethane foam. They were not sold as "finished" furniture but instead were marketed pressed flat and vacuum-packed in blister packs. Not until the piece was taken home and removed from its packaging did it assume form as an armchair, sofa, or footstool when the polyurethane foam had absorbed enough air from its surroundings.
Gaetano Pesce's later designs were more radical than the soft, almost feminine "Up" range, both in respect of form and their one-off character. In 1972 Gaetano Pesce designed the "Rag chair" and, in 1975-76, "Sit down" - seat furniture notable for the fact that no two armchairs are alike. In 1980 Pesce designed the "Dalila" chairs. In 1983 he created the "Pratt chairs" of polyurethane resin. In 1993 Gaetano Pesce designed the "Broadway", a chair with a transparent seat and back of epoxy resin and springs attached to the bottoms of the legs, allowing the chair to seesaw back and forth.
Gaetano Pesce's designs are always informed by a touch of tongue-in-cheek humor, a feature of the 1995 "Umbrella" chair, which folds up like an umbrella but, at the push of a button, opens out into a chair with a back.

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