Emblematic Italian Design at Sotheby's France - Gaetano Pesce

Gaetano Pesce, Italian designer, architect and artist, with his iconic UP chair at Sotheby's France

For the first time since the Centre Georges Pompidou honored Gaetano Pesce with a comprehensive career retrospective in 1996, Sotheby's France presents an exhibition-sale of some of the most exceptional pieces created by the Italian designer, architect and multidisciplinary artist.

On Monday evening, I had the rare pleasure of listening to the 74 year old artist talk about the inspiration behind many of his extraordinary pieces, including the iconic UP 5 chair. Created in 1969, the anthropomorphic chair was designed to resemble a prehistoric, female fertility figure, with a ball attached to symbolize captivity: “In this design I have expressed my idea of women. A woman is always confined, a prisoner of herself against her will. For this reason I wanted to give this chair the shape of a woman with a ball chained to her foot to use the traditional image of a prisoner.”

Gaetano Pesce and his ""L'Abbracio Cabinet"

Pesce, whose work is displayed as part of the permanent collections of some the most important museums in the world, such as MoMA, the Metropolitan Museum of New York, Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, was born in La Spezia, Italy in 1939. Described by prominent architecture critic Herbert Muschamp as "the architectural equivalent of a brainstorm", Pesce projects include the Hubin's Apartment in Paris (1986); the Organic Building in Osaka (1989-1993); the Gallery Mourmans in Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium (1994); and the Shuman residence in New York (1994).

Gaetano Pesce's work is infused with sensuality, generosity, intimacy, comfort and optimism - all recurrent themes cherished by the artist. Don't miss this exceptional opportunity to view a retrospective survey of his work presented by Sotheby's France in association with B&B Italia.

The exhibition is open to the public from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm  February 5-15, 2014 (closed February 9).

Sotheby's Galerie Charpentier
76 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré
75008 Paris

Please click here to see more photos of Gaetano Pesce's work posted on Facebook.

Insider's tip: In addition to the exhibition-sale at Sotheby's, the window of the B&B Italia Store in Paris is currently dedicated to Gaetano Pesce. Be sure to check it out if you're near 35 rue du Bac, 75007.

Gaetano Pesce's "Moloch Lamp" (1970). Another prototype recently sold for $197,000 in New York in December 2013.


  1. ah, first attempt didn't take.

    Question: did you sit in the chair? As an interested buyer it is your privilege of course. I'm not sure I could live with it though.


    1. Sorry that your first attempt didn't take. I had to change my security settings for comments after getting buried in spam.

      WIth hindsight, I wish that I would have sat in one of Pesce's chairs. Other people did and said that they were comfortable. I didn't post the photo of it but there was even a chair made out of transfusion tubes fused together. My favorite UP chairs were the red ones at the entrance of Sotheby's. I could live with one of those!


Post a Comment