L’ABBRACCIO – Master Innovator Gaetano Pesce’s First, Solo, New York Exhibition in 25 Years

New York – Visionary architect, designer and artist Gaetano Pesce will have his first solo, New York exhibition in 25 years at Fred Torres Collaborations from March 21-May 25, 2013. The show focuses on issues of love and empathy, be it for ourselves, each other or the world, that have been important themes in Pesce’s work. L’ABBRACCIO, (The Hug) the name of the exhibition, refers to a cabinet designed by Pesce in 2009 of two people locked in an embrace. In addition to its “namesake” cabinet, the exhibition will feature some of Pesce’s rarely seen drawings, maquettes, lighting and furniture from the 1970s. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, March 21 from 6-8 pm.

Since the 1960s, Gaetano Pesce has been challenging the dogma of traditional aesthetics by embracing an art, architecture and design of expressiveness that is a commentary on reality, color, new materials, figurative representation and political commitment. His poetic imagination and his continued use of humor and irony to attack the standardization of the mass-produced object and architecture, sets him apart from all other designers and architects. Pesce continually exploits the technical qualities of materials such as resins, polyurethanes and silicones in order to create objects and projects that have a point of view and make a strong artistic statement…

The Hug – Gaetano Pesce


Matteo Thun: The Index Book | Architecture

There are no vanity editorials in ‘Matteo Thun: The Index Book‘. No ego boosting essays. And no statements on the Italian architect‘s long term impact on the world of design. Just six sets of indexes that allow you to access his work six different ways: alphabetically, typologically, topographically, chronologically, by client name and finally, according to visuals that correspond to each user friendly list.

Much like a helpful inventory of ingredients in the back of a cookbook, Thun’s book brings a scientific organisational approach to his vast body of work, creating along the way a new lexicon for speaking about it. What results is 30 years worth of projects, ‘from coffee cups to restaurants, from mountain resorts to wristwatches, from saucepans to solitary villas’, neatly condensed into a singular, handy user’s guide.

Our Milan editor-at-large, JJ Martin, caught up with the designer to hear more about his reinvention of the classic monograph.

The lists are sensible and original. Why did you decide to organise the material in this way?
The idea started because we were getting daily requests from people asking what the studio did. At a certain point my wife said, ‘you really need to create something that functions like a phone book.’ And here we are. It’s the fastest way to find the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’ and ‘why’ about our work.

You left out texts on your creative inspiration or mission. Why is that?
That was on purpose. The majority of books on architects and designers are done by creatives, for creatives. This book, on the other hand, doesn’t speak to creatives, but rather to business people, CEOs, decisions-makers and whoever wants a service from this company.

What will non-creatives glean from the lists?
There are different index criteria so you can see what was done in 1982, what was done in Switzerland, what was done for private homes, for hotels, for spas – all the categories of my work, really. The introduction by Hans Ulrich Obrist is just two pages, a sort of ‘back to the roots’ that talks about Sotsass, my teachers and my beginnings. And basta. No, self celebration at all.

I’m finding myself in unchartered territory with an architect not in possession of a big ego…
No, it’s the opposite!  I want to avoid speaking subjectively about my work. There’s too much ‘fried air’ in design and architecture today. I’m more interested in the idea of ‘nachschlagewerk’. It’s a German word – better than ‘dictionary’  or ‘phonebook’ – which means you open the right page to know what’s going on.

And once you’re inside the meat of the book with all of the images?
When you look through it you’ll notice there’s a huge linguistic discontinuity. Because if I build in Abu Dabai, it’s just completely different than if I build in the periphery of Milan or in Switzerland. So this means that every project needs to be started from zero and each time you need to create a new language. This fits in with my concept of Zero Design.

Is this your first book?
I did two others in the 1990s, then I decided to never do a book again because they were self-gratifying and showing your muscles isn’t part of my character.  But this is different; this I like.

Matteo Thun: The Index Book | Architecture | Wallpaper* Magazine: design, architecture, fashion, art http://ow.ly/gOJYh

German publisher Hatje Cantz has released 'Matteo Thun: The Index Book', a comprehensive retrospective of the Italian architect and designer's practice

German publisher Hatje Cantz has released ‘Matteo Thun: The Index Book’, a comprehensive retrospective of the Italian architect and designer’s practice

Gaetano Pesce jewellery exhibition at Galerie Basia Embiricos, Paris

Gaetano Pesce, the accomplished Italian architect and furniture designer, woke up one day to discover that he had, quite inadvertently, created 250 pieces of jewellery. The brightly coloured resin rings, necklaces, bracelets and pins, which piled up in his New York studio and are now part of an exhibit at Galerie Basia Embiricos in Paris, started as a mere weekend hobby for the 73-year-old designer.

‘I’ve always liked working with materials I don’t know anything about,’ says Pesce. ‘So one day I just started experimenting, and slowly I started coming up with pieces that were quite innovative.’…

Gaetano Pesce jewellery exhibition at Galerie Basia Embiricos, Paris | Fashion | Wallpaper* Magazine http://ow.ly/fVHIL

Architect and designer Gaetano Pesce's first foray into jewellery design has resulted in an exhibition of 250 pieces. Pictured, is the 73-year-old designer's Cinzia necklace

Architect and designer Gaetano Pesce’s first foray into jewellery design has resulted in an exhibition of 250 pieces. Pictured, is the 73-year-old designer’s Cinzia necklace

Rome: How to explore Valentino’s city

One of the fashion world’s great survivors, Valentino Garavani – better known simply as “Valentino” – began his career in 1959 as a haute couture dressmaker to the rich and famous, like so many in the Rome of the Dolce Vita years.

But with the help of his friend and business partner Giancarlo Giammetti, Valentino turned a niche business into a global brand.

In his 50-year career (he officially retired in 2008), the couturier from Voghera in the north of Italy has designed dresses for Jackie Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Gwyneth Paltrow and more members of royal families than you could fit on to the deck of his 152ft yacht.

Rome: How to explore Valentino’s city via @Telegraph http://soc.li/iZGVN4C

Via Condotti, where Valentino was based when he first arrived from his apprenticeship in Paris in 1958

Via Condotti, where Valentino was based when he first arrived from his apprenticeship in Paris in 1958

My design London: Alberto Alessi http://

Alberto Alessi is the godfather of much contemporary design. As president of kitchen accessories company Alessi, he gave the world iconic postmodern pieces by “star designers” such as Michael Graves, Philippe Starck, Richard Sapper, Ettore Sottsass, Alessandro Mendini and Achille Castiglioni.

Alessi was born into kitchenware and manufacturing. His paternal grandfather founded Alessi, while his maternal grandfather started Bialetti, makers of the classical hexagonal Italian percolator coffee machines — the ones with the little man on the side. Today, Alberto Alessi is something of a design guru. A museum trustee, he writes, lectures and curates shows about design, as well as running Alessi…

My design London: Alberto Alessi http://ow.ly/fw2ZR

Teapot by Christopher Dresser, one of Alessis's beloved designers

Teapot by Christopher Dresser, one of Alessis’s beloved designers

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