It has been almost twenty-five years since Gaetano Pesce, the renowned Italian designer and architect has had an exhibition in New York City. And now, after such a long hiatus, it seems that he is everywhere. I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Pesce several months ago at his studio in Soho, where he gave me a peak at his new jewelry collection for an article that I was writing for MODERN Magazine (Spring 2013). These jewels, all unique and all made by Mr. Pesce, were being shipped to Paris for an exhibition at the Galerie Basia Embiricos in the Marais.
A Neck piece by Gaetano Pesce, 2012
“Pezzi per il corpo” (Pieces for the body) is a collection of 100 unique pieces of jewelry that has occupied the designer’s time on Saturdays and Sundays over the course of the last five years. Pesce’s continued fascination with urethane resin is the perfect material for creating unique bodily adornment because it is malleable and may be easily manipulated. Not for the timid, one necklaces resemble globs of paint falling of an artist’s palette and another shards of broken glass. Two large bangles, worn simultaneously by a model on separate wrists, look like exploding mouthwatering jolly-ranchers. It is obvious that Pesce prefers bold colors, referring to them as “alive”, which he attains by mixing the resin with different pigments. The designer believes that non-traditional materials can produce jewelry that is more interesting and innovative then traditional. Pesce is forgoing traditional jewelry materials all the way through: his necklaces and bracelets close with magnets.
Pair of resin bangles on model by Gaetano Pesce
L’Abbraccio by Gaetano Pesce, 2009, at Fred Torres
Gaetano Pesce, “World Trade Center Open Heart” Cabinet, 2013 at Fred Torres
But back to New York. Mr. Pesce has two shows currently on view. Gaetano Pesce: L’Abbraccio (at Fred Torres Collaborations, 527 West 29th Street; through May 25th). The term L’ABBRACCIO means “the Hug” in Italian and is also the name of the show’s star piece, a gorgeous cabinet that Mr. Pesce designed in 2009 of two people locked in an embrace. In addition to this cabinet, there is the stunning “World Trade Center Open Heart” cabinet which depicts the fallen World Trade Center towers connected together with a heart (Mr. Pesce is a long time New Yorker). The exhibition also features some of Mr. Pesce’s rarely seen drawings from the 1970s, maquettes, lighting and furniture taken from his archive.
This week, Mr. Pesce is also exhibiting at the Collective.1 Design Fair (Pier 57, 15th Street and the West Side Highway). His installation here is another glimpse into his archive and includes furniture, vases, wall-art, and jewelry.
On Friday, May 10th at 7pm Mr. Pesce will sit down at the Collective.1 Design Fair and talk about his career with Daniella Ohad, who co-curated the installation with him.
Installation at Collective.1 Design Fair
Gaetano Pesce, Rag Armchair (Maquette), 1972, Epoxy resin and Fabric at Fred Torres
Gaetano Pesce, Open Heart “Black”, 2012, Resin; at Fred Torres
For more information on Collective. 1 Design Fair and Collective Conversations:In Dialogue Designer Gaetano Pesce and curator Daniella Ohad Smith on May 10th at 7pm:http://www.collectivedesignfair.com/programming/programming.html
For more information on Fred Torres Collaborations: http://www.fredtorres.com/exhibition-space/2013-03-21_gaetano-pesce/