From his beginnings in post-war Italy through a career that spans four decades with commissions in architecture, urban planning, interior, exhibition and industrial design, Gaetano Pesce, the architect and designer, has conceived public and private projects in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. His experience has been global, his innovations consistently groundbreaking.
Born in La Spezia, Italy, in 1939, he studied Architecture at the University of Venice between 1958 to 1963 and was a participant in Gruppo N, an early collective concerned with programmed art patterned after the Bauhaus.
Pesce taught for 28 years at the Institut d’Architecture et d’Etudes Urbaines in Strasbourg, France, at the Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, at the Domus Academy in Milan, at the Polytechinc of Hong Kong, at the Architectural School of Sao Paulo and at the Cooper Union in New York City, where he has made his home since 1980. He also has lectured at the most prominent universities and cultural institutions around the world.
His work is featured in more than 30 permanent collections of the most important museums in the world, such as MoMa in New York and San Francisco, Metropolitan Museum in New York, Pompidou Center and Musee des Art Decoratifs of Louvre in Paris, Vitra Museum in Germany and Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He exhibits art in galleries world wide. In 1996, he was honored with a comprehensive career retrospective at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and a publication of the Cataloque “Gaetano Pesce: Le temps des questions”. More recently, the Triennale di Milano organized a large retrospective of his work, in an exhibition entitled “Il Rumore del Tempo.” The exhibition was also displayed at the Vitra Museum in Germany, in 2005 and the beginning of 2006.
Among Pesce's most well-known architectural commissions are the Hubin's Apartment in Paris (1986), the Organic Building in Osaka (1989-1993), the Art Gallery in Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium (1994), the Shuman’s residence in New York (1994), the TWBA/Chiat Day’s office (1995) and the Itacimirin in Salvador de Bahia, Brasil (1996). The city of Osaka, Japan, declared Pesce’s Organic Building, whose façade is a vertical garden, a civic landmark in 1994 and the Manhattan office for the advertising agency TWBA/Chiat Day was hailed by the New York Times as "a remarkable work of art… that bears no resemblance to the sleek, hard-edged esthetic we have come to associate with the modern world".
Among the companies, which manufacture his designs, are Cassina, B&B Italia, Bernini, Knoll International, Venini, Zerodisegno, Swarovski, Vitra, Melissa, Meritalia, Elica, Le Fablier and Camper.
In all his work, Pesce expresses his guiding principle: that modernism is less a style than a method for interpreting the present and hinting at the future in which individuality is preserved and celebrated.