Neon Parc acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong Boon Wurrung as the Traditional Owners and sovereign custodians of the Country on which we operate. We pay our deepest respects to their Elders past and present. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

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Gaetano Pesce
‘Fish in Australia’
4 May.–27 May.

Neon Parc is thrilled to present a two-part exhibition with renowned architect, artist and designer Gaetano Pesce (b. Italy, 1939), to be premiered at Neon Parc City, between 4–27 May and the Melbourne Design Fair, 18–21 May, 2023.

Gaetano Pesce emerged from the Italian Radical Design movement of the 1960s. The Florence-based group of designers and architects produced era-defining furnishings and products that looked to youth culture and the personality-driven ethos of the art world at the time. It was a forward-looking rebellion against the consumer-oriented industrial perfection of 20th-century Modernism.

His unique approach to social critique through expressive forms and atypical materials can be traced to his first major line of furniture: his Up series, released with B&B Italia in 1969. His most famous work from the series, UP5_6 — also known as La Mamma — is a curvaceous armchair with ample, feminine proportions reminiscent of the Venus of Willendorf.

For his first project in Melbourne, titled ‘Fish in Australia’ presents historical objects and sketches for larger projects, including an early design of the ‘Pratt Chair’, produced for the Pratt Institute in New York in 1984; a sketch for the ‘Moloch Lamp’ (1970); and the ‘9-11 Cabinet’, Pesce’s optimistic reaction to the 2001 tragedy (which was also his entry in the World Trade Centre Memorial competition). The show offers an insight into his creative process and the scope of his radical artistic vision.

The second project, a solo presentation at the Melbourne Design Fair, consists of Pesce’s recent chairs, lamps and vases, rendered in his signature medium of urethane resin. This project will allow Australian audiences a rare opportunity to view unique pieces never before exhibited and also to see a range of pieces in concert.

Gaetano Pesce’s works have been celebrated in exhibitions of outstanding importance, such as Italy: The New Domestic Landscape held at the MoMA in 1972; the retrospective Gaetano Pesce: Le temps des questions, organized in 1996 in the Centre Pompidou; Pushing the limits, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 2005; Gaetano Pesce: Il Rumore Del Tempo, at the Milan Triennale, also in 2005; a retrospective Il tempo della diversitá, at the MAXXI in Rome in 2014; Gaetano Pesce : architettura e fugurazione. Complesso Museale di Palazzo Ducale, Mantua, Italy in 2017 and Gaetano Pesce: Nobody’s Perfect at Sea World Arts and Culture Center, Shenzhen, 2021 and UCCA Lab, Shanghai in 2022.

Gaetano Pesce’s work is featured in over 30 permanent collections in the most important museums in the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Vitra Design Museum, Germany; The Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Musee des Arts Décoratifs, Louvre, Paris.

Exhibitions (2)