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Pieces from a Larger Puzzle

“Pieces from a Larger Puzzle,” an exhibition at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura—a 1950s building in Westwood designed by Robert Alexander, Richard Neutra’s partner—of Italian artist, architect and designer Gaetano Pesce’s work, on display through August 31, spans more than 40 years and covers his myriad designs, from his jiggly poured polyurethane resin vases to his famous womblike La Mamma chairs of expanded polyurethane foam with a self-inflating core. The student of architect Carlo Scarpa, Pesce, who was born in Italy and is based in New York, is known for his innovative and extensive use of resin and plastic, about which he has said, “The materials of the future for me are flexible, translucent, elastic and colorful.” Among the mix of joyfully presented objects of these materials, inscribed on the back wall of the gallery space, was another Pesce allusion to things to come: “The future is a very beautiful creature…the past is not.”

Two vases from Gaetano’s studio, Fish Design, open the exhibition, which was curated by Francesca Valente, the Istituto director and coordinator; John Geresi, banker and design devotee; and Peter Loughrey, director of Los Angeles Modern Auctions.

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