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Pieces from a Larger Puzzle

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“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.”

The Up 5 and Up 6 chair and ottoman, of expanded polyurethane foam, synthetic jersey and a self-inflating core, are...
Nobody’s Chair, otherwise known as the Nobody’s Perfect chair, was designed in 2002 and created from poured...
Atmosphere== GAETANO PESCE: PIECES FROM A LARGER PUZZLE== Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, Westwood,...
The Up 7 was designed in 1969 of self-skinning molded polyurethane foam.
Atmosphere== GAETANO PESCE: PIECES FROM A LARGER PUZZLE== Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, Westwood,...
Dalila Tre chair, 1980, of molded polyurethane with epoxy resin.
The current production model of the I Feltri chair, a 1985 design evoking both the artist Joseph Beuys’ use of felt,...
One of ten Pratt Chair prototypes conceived in 1982, when Pesce was teaching at the Brooklyn-based Pratt Institute.
A ladder and delicately balanced ply became the setting for an array of Pesce’s vase designs, mostly from the 1990s.
Pesce’s sketches for this Greene Street chair prototype, from 1984, reveal a self-portrait behind the “face” of the...
Atmosphere== GAETANO PESCE: PIECES FROM A LARGER PUZZLE== Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, Westwood,...
With permission from the lender, visitors were invited to “please touch” this polyurethane resin vase.
Atmosphere== GAETANO PESCE: PIECES FROM A LARGER PUZZLE== Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles, Westwood,...
The Istituto Italiano di Cultura, near UCLA in Westwood, was designed in the 1950s by Robert Alexander, Richard...
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