Gaetano Pesce was born in La Spezia on November 8, 1939. After his early training in Venice, where he first attended the School of Architecture and then the Institute of Industrial Design, in 1959, he briefly joined the Padua-based Gruppo N, a collective of young architects from the prestigious IUAV school. He became interested in kinetic art, theatre and cinema, due to the infinite possibilities for experimenting with light, sound and movement that these disciplines offered. These influences were to prove invaluable to Pesce. In 1962, he began working in the field of design. From the outset, he focused on careful research into unusual materials, processes and forms. Pesce was responsible for creating the "Up Series" of armchairs for C&B (Cassina & Busnelli, which later became B&B Italia). In particular, "UP5" and "UP6" immediately became paradigms for new avant-garde radical design, as well as iconic 1960s/'70s furnishing symbols. In 1971, he collaborated with BracciodiFerro, creating experimental objects for the Cassina Research and Development Centre. This experience led to the creation of such objects as the emblematic "Moloch" table lamp, noteworthy for its spring-balanced arm. Moloch was clearly inspired by designer Jac Jacobsen's 1937 "L-1" adjustable lamp, produced in more than 25 million pieces by the Norwegian company Luxo.
In 1972, Pesce was among the participants in the exhibition "Italy: The New Domestic Landscape" at MoMA in New York, consecrating the radical design movement. Among the most iconic and recognizable objects created by Pesce were for Cassina: in 1980, the modular, ironic and unconventional "Tramonto a New York" sofa, in which the choice of colour and form coexist with luxury and comfort; the "I Feltri" armchair presented at the Salone del Mobile in 1987, a seat with a polyester resin base supporting the soft and enveloping fabric - reminiscent of a cloak but also of a welcoming womb.
In 1983, Pesce moved to New York, a city with which he established a deep bond. In the mid-'90s, his research focused on the use of resin and the creation of sculptural design objects. Pesce's work is highly experimental and recognizable, expressing the desire to break with formal style through constant research into new fabrication techniques. His production is exhibited in design museums around the world. The "UP Series" is included in the permanent collections of the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, MoMA in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts in Montreal.
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