Gaetano Pesce's Up 5 chair
A retrospective of anti-conformist designer Gaetano Pesce's work has gone on sale at the Paris branch of the exclusive art dealership Sotheby's.
The Italian creative, 73, is known for his innovative and contradictory designs, which
are at times both whimsical and political. He has worked on projects all over the world and his designs have been displayed by New York's MoMA and Metropolitan Museum, Germany's Vitra Museum, London's Victoria and Albert Museum and Paris's Pompidou Center.
Among the iconic pieces on display at the gallery is Pesce's "Up 5" chair, which was originally designed for furniture studio B&B Italia in 1969. Instantly recognizable thanks to its bold feminine curves and ball-and-chain accessory, the chair is a powerful statement on sexual equality and is one of Pesce's most overtly political works.
"Forty-five years ago women were prisoners," explained Pesce during a tour of his exhibition. "But for me, expressing that through an article had less impact than expressing it through an object that people could see and touch. It is a magnificent object."
The designer also revealed that an enormous eight-meter-high interactive version of the chair is set to go on display in London in the near future, allowing visitors to wander around inside and view video installations.
In addition to a recreated wooden version of the chair, Pesce has designed a bold fabric version, titled Up Dressed, exclusively for the retrospective. It sits alongside the object's traditional red fabric versions.
Other famous designs on show include the giant-scaled Moloch Lamp from 1970, fabricated from light alloy and iron, and the Senzia Fine Unica, a colorful abstract seat made from elasticated polyurethane tendrils which has something of a biomedical air. Also up for sale are a plethora of the designer's sketches, maquettes and paintings.
The Gaetano Pesce exhibition and sale will be on display at Sotheby's Paris through February 15. All prices upon request.