Gaetano Pesce. In memory of a friend

From 24.09.2021 (All day) to 09.01.2022 (All day)
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A widespread exhibition with large sculptures in the city and a major anthological exhibition at Villa Croce. 
Outdoor sculptures in Piazza Fontane Marose, Piazza Matteotti, Piazza De Ferrari, Villa Croce park. 
Set up by Genoa City Council in cooperation with New York's Studio Pesce, the exhibition is dedicated by the artist himself to the figure of Germano Celant, a contemporary art and culture personality who recently passed away. 
The Villa Croce Museum proposes, with the great exhibition Gaetano Pesce. In memory of a friend, a tribute to the work and research of one of the internationally celebrated masters of contemporary design and architecture. At the same time he wants to remember a friend, a great figure in the world of contemporary culture who recently passed away, Germano Celant, who remains a fundamental figure in the history of art.
An artist, architect, sculptor and designer. Born in La Spezia, but now permanently based in New York, where he has lived since 1980, Pesce has always stood out as a creative and eclectic author, an expression of the most innovative and radical wing of Italian Design since the 1960s.
The artist's main driving force is his continuous experimentation, which involves both forms, with his material objects that take on innovative and unpredictable aspects, and materials, which are often soft, light and transformable to the touch, because they are alive and in motion: such as resins , polyurethane, elastome and silicone.
The resulting works are unique pieces, with their own individuality that distinguishes them from one another because, according to Pesce, "Democracy must guarantee and protect diversity not equality".
Variation and multidisciplinarity are the fundamental elements of his way of proceeding and making art, an art that wants to be "active" in order to bring about a positive change in contemporary society.
The exhibition weaves together historical and revisited works on the two floors of the villa, such as the iconic Up5&6 armchair that stands out in the space that welcomes visitors on the ground floor, with its anthropomorphic shapes magnified by the goddess of fertility which, at the same time, denounce the
condition of women, still victims of violence; or Moloch from 1972, a macro version of the famous L1 table lamp, created in 1937 by the designer Jacob Jacobsen, with more recent works such as the Skins (Industrial Skin) made of resin as thin as a layer of epidermis, hanging from the ceiling of the large decorated room on the first floor, the Vases, which seem to melt like melted coloured wax, the tables and chairs, some like the Pratt chair series started in the 1980s, and the lamps, Pulcinella and Donna applique in papier maché covered with polyurethane resin.
The project does not end in the closed spaces of the museum but explodes outdoors, with three outsized sculptures dotting the city centre. Starting from Piazza Fontane Marose with the betrayed Majesty, we reach Piazza De Ferrari, where the giant Up in rags stands out the Sedia Portaritratti in Piazza Matteotti. The route ends again at Villa Croce where dominates a totally new sculpture, The Crucifixion of Manuality, created by Pesce in 2020, during the lockdown period and exhibited for the first time at the Genoa exhibition.
Gaetano Pesce was born in La Spezia in 1939. He moved to Venice, where he graduated in Architecture from the IUAV under the teaching of, among others, Carlo Scarpa, Franco Albini, Bruno Zevi and attended the Istituto Superiore di Disegno Industriale in Venice.
In 1959, with Milena Vettori and others , he founded Gruppo N, which experimented an optical-kinetic research. But soon he moved away from this approach and, after meeting Cesare Cassina, founder with Piero Busnelli of the company C&B (now B&B Italia), which enabled him to experiment with innovative materials and solutions, in 1969 he produced the UP series of polyurethane chairs for the company, the best known of which was Up5, linked to the ottoman Up6. In 1971 he founded the Bracciodiferro company at the Cassina Research and Development Centre, with  the architect and designer Alessandro Mendini, creating ironic and provocative art design objects. In 1972, at the MoMa in New York, he took part in the exhibition "Italy, the New Domestic Landscape", curated by Emilio Ambasz, which definitively launched Italian design on the international scene.
Before moving to New York in 1980, where he currently lives and works, Pesce lived for a long time in different cities and countries, teaching for many years at the Institut d'Architecture et d'Etudes Urbaines in Strasbourg, the Cooper Union in New York, the Hong Kong Polytechnic and the School of Architecture in São Paulo, Brazil.
His most successful architectural projects include the Pluralistic Tower in São Paulo, Brazil, from 1987, the Organic Building in Osaka, completed in 1993, a 9-storey building that anticipates the concept of vertical gardens, La Bahia House in 1998 in Brazil, the Pink Pavilion at Bovisa in Milan in 2007. la casa “Pesce Trullo”, 2010 in Puglia.
His works are part of the collections of prestigious national and international museums such as the Triennale Design Museum in Milan, the MoMa in New York,  the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Centre Pompidou a Paris, Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal and Metropolitan Museum in New York.
In 2014 the MAXXI museum in Rome dedicated to him a major exhibition Gaetano Pesce. The time of diversity 
This year, few days before this show in Genoa, there is also a massive solo show at the Design Society in Shenzhen and in New York in the Salon 94 gallery. 
The realisation of the exhibition was made possible thanks to the intervention of the sponsors and the important contribution of Fondazione Carige.
Inauguration: 23 September 2021, 5 p.m.Museo d’arte contemporanea di Villa Croce 
From Tuesday to Friday: 11 a.m - 5:30 p.m
Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m - 6 p.m





We would like to inform you that from 6 August, in compliance with the latest decree-law for the containment of the Covid-19 emergency, it is necessary to display the EU digital COVID certificate.
Visitors may enter the Museum with no more than two people at a time, with the exception of families with minor children who may enter together, access will be staggered to ensure a distance of at least 1.5 m between people.
To enter the Museum, visitors must:
- wear a mask
- sanitise their hands
- have their body temperature checked: there is a station at the entrance to the Museum equipped to measure body temperature as indicated by the staff. People with a body temperature of over 37.5°C are not allowed to enter the Museum;
- Follow the rules of social distancing and the indications on the signs. 
In the event of a RED hydrogeological alert issued by the Civil Protection, the Museum will be closed and all scheduled events will be cancelled.


Itinerary of the exhibition:





Exhibition's sponsors