Skip to main content

Gaetano Pesce: Pushing the Limits

November 18, 2005–April 9, 2006

Known for his innovative designs incorporating nonstandard production processes and the latest materials developed through new technology, Gaetano Pesce (b. 1939), in collaboration with the Museum, is creating his first museum exhibition in the United States in nearly a decade.

Pesce's multidisciplinary work in design, visual art, architecture, and planning can be unpredictable—like his resin furniture "customized" in form and color according to the choices of the artisan and the chance flow of pigmented materials within the molds. Italian writer Gillo Dorfles has said that Pesce has "made the world a less conformist place" with his objects that pit the conflicting values and means of handicraft against those of industry.

Born in La Spezia, Italy, in 1939, Pesce studied at the University of Venice Faculty of Architecture and the Institute of Industrial Design, also in Venice. He has worked in numerous countries, including Italy, Germany, Belgium, Japan, France, Brazil, and the United States, where he has maintained a studio since 1980. In 1959, he was one of the founders in Padua of Group N, an association of artists and designers concerned with programmed, or "Op" art. Pesce received his first important critical notice at the international furniture exhibition in Milan in 1969 when he introduced the UP series, although his work had been earlier included in shows in Finland and Italy. While Pesce has been particularly active as a furniture and interior designer, he has also found time for filmmaking, lecturing worldwide, and teaching, most notably since 1975 at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies in Strasbourg, France, at the Domus Academy in Milan, and at Cooper Union School of Architecture in New York.

At the opening of the exhibition, sponsored by Collab: The Group for Modern and Contemporary Design at the Museum, Pesce was honored with the 2005 Design Excellence Award.

Main Building


Kathryn Hiesinger • Curator of European Decorative Arts after 1700

Check out other exhibitions

View full calendar