Schrijf je in voor onze dagelijkse nieuwsbrief om al het laatste nieuws direct per e-mail te ontvangen!

Inschrijven Ik ben al ingeschreven

Sign up for our daily Newsletter and stay up to date with all the latest news!

Subscribe I am already a subscriber

DESIGN MIAMI.BASEL 2024 honours Italian designer Gaetano Pesce

This past April, the design world lost one of its most celebrated talents—pioneering Italian designer Gaetano Pesce (1939 - 2024). In honour of the late design maestro, this year's edition of DESIGN MIAMI.BASEL 2024 featured a number of tributes to Pesce, intended to honour his legacy moving forward.

On the left: 1984 Pratt Chair N°7. Photo by Ivan Erofeev for Design Miami. On the right: Gaetano Pesce. Photo by Petra & Erik Hesmerg; Courtesy of Pulp Galerie for Design Miami.

Upon entering this year's fair, visitors are welcomed by Gaetano Pesce: A Celebration, a collaborative presentation celebrating the breadth of Pesce's oeuvre and impact. Presented by a trio of esteemed design galleries—Friedman Benda (New York / LA) and first-time Basel exhibitors Pulp Galerie and downtown+ (both Paris)—the installation features key works from the 1970s to present that highlight Pesce's innovations in creating what he referred to as 'objects of our time'.

Exhibited pieces include, among other greats, a bookcase and armchair in resin—Pesce's material of choice—from the Nobody's Perfect collection, through which Pesce came to terms with what he saw as the impossibility of truly perfect design. The pieces themselves embody this belief, and even advocate for "imperfection," as each one has been cast in moulds by hand without uniform colours or dimensions. As a result, every piece is unique, revealing the so-called "shortcomings" of their maker—as proof that, of course, nobody's perfect. Or as Pulp Galerie founders Paul-Louis Betto and Paul Ménacer-Poussin put it: "Human nature comes back every time."

Gaetano Pesce installation at DESIGN MIAMI.BASEL 2024. Photo by Ivan Erofeev for Design Miami.

There is, as well, a fabulous prototype Moloch lamp, Pesce's radically scaled version of the Anglepoise desk lamp, which towers at seven and a half feet tall. Describing the work, Jennifer Olshin, Partner and Founding Director of Friedman Benda, observes, 'Innovative, humorous, and incorporating a spirit indicative of a life force, the Moloch lamp of 1971 stands as a testament to Pesce's ability to embrace and challenge conventional ideas and forms. Gigantic, with industrial components it manages to occupy and dance in its space, harking back, while moving forward.'

Beside the entrance installation, American curator, historian, and writer Glenn Adamson has also penned a tribute to Pesce, which speaks to the designer's legacy and the spirit of admiration he garnered from the creative community. (Adamson is, as well, the upcoming Design Miami.2024 Curatorial Director.) He writes: 'Gaetano Pesce was the most independent-minded designer of recent times. He was also among the most influential–a role model to countless others. Perhaps these two things go together, for contradiction was at the heart of Pesce's creative vision. Completely dedicated to personal expression, he also loved working with manufacturers, finding ways to push them to embrace experimental processes. A true avant-gardiste, Pesce's work has a profundity which rewards deep exploration. Yet it also spoke loud and clear, in ways that even a child—perhaps especially a child—can read.'

Read more about DESIGN MIAMI.BASEL 2024 here.

More information:
Design Miami

Publication date: