Renowned furniture designer and architect Gaetano Pesce dies at 84


(Left) "La Mamma Chair" by Italian designer Gaetano Pesce (1973-88 edition of 1969 original) in the "Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design 1924 - Today" exhibition at the Design Museum in London on October 13, 2022. Pesce (right), known for his playful, brightly coloured furniture, has died aged 84. — Photo: Isabel Infantes/AFP, Instagram/Gaetano.Pesce

Italian designer and architect Gaetano Pesce, known for his playful, brightly coloured furniture, has died aged 84, his official Instagram page announced last Thursday.

The New York-based designer had been dealing with "health-related setbacks", particularly in the last year, but had "remained positive, playful and ever curious", the statement said.

Among Pesce's most iconic designs were the "Up" chairs, a series of pliable, anthropomorphic seats in foam and stretch fabric.

A gallery assistant studies Photo: Instagram/Gaetano.Pesce

The most famous of these evoked the form of a voluptuous woman, tethered to a spherical footstool, intended to evoke the subjugation of women by men.

"It is with a heavy heart we announce the passing of visionary creator Gaetano Pesce," the statement read.

"Over the course of six decades Gaetano revolutionised the worlds of art, design, architecture and the liminal spaces between these categories."

"His originality and nerve are matched by none."

Photo: Instagram/Gaetano.Pesce

Pesce is survived by his children, family "and all who adored him", the statement said, adding that "His uniqueness, creativity and special message live on through his art".

Born in La Spezia in 1939, Pesce studied architecture in Venice and went on to teach in Strasbourg, France, for 28 years, but also in Pittsburgh, Milan, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo and New York.

He made New York City his home in 1980, but his work is featured in the permanent collections of museums all over the world, from MoMA to London's Victoria and Albert Museum and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. — AFP

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obituary , furniture


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