Just In: Gaetano Pesce’s Radical Resin

November 11, 2020
Gaetano Pesce | Group (13) | designed c. 1990-1995 | Est. $7,000-10,000

Co-curated by LAMA founder Peter Loughrey, Pieces From a Larger Puzzle served to introduce the West Coast to Italian design polymath extraordinaire Gaetano Pesce. The 2010 exhibition hosted by the Italian Cultural Center of Los Angeles was Pesce’s West Coast solo debut and featured a collection of works spanning 1969 to the present day — including many of the smaller sculptural vessels Pesce designed for Fish Design Ltd. in the 1990s. Exploding with candy colors, audacious tactility, and (dare we say rebellious?) character, this body of work represented Pesce’s foray into resin as functional material. We are delighted to be offering a group of thirteen objects at auction in January 2021.

As noted in the exhibition catalogue for Pieces From A Larger Puzzle, “[Pesce] remains, by temperament and character, an incurable avant-gardist, a revolutionary by necessity.” What’s a vase, after all, if it doesn’t break when it falls? What if it bounces instead? Pliable and vaguely extraterrestrial, the Fish Design vessels mimic their creator in their resistance to simple categorization. They are at once functional and entirely impossible, simultaneously soft and sturdy, distinctly artful objects produced by industrial means.  

A student of architect and designer Carlo Scarpa, Pesce was also deeply influenced by the Arte Povera movement’s reverence for everyday, banal materials. His overall body of work is thus one of serious play and subversion, always in dialogue with his stated guiding principle: “that modernism is less a style than a method for interpreting the present and hinting at the future in which individuality is preserved and celebrated.” See the full exhibition catalogue for Pieces from A Larger Puzzle here.


Brooke, Hodge. “Seeing Things | Gaetano Pesce in L.A.The New York Times Style Magazine. July 8, 2010. Accessed November 11, 2020.

Gaetano Pesce. “About.” Accessed November 11, 2020.

Lot Information:

Gaetano Pesce
Group (13)
designed c. 1990-1995
Fish Design
Largest: 12” x 8.5″ diameter; Smallest: 6.5″ x 4.5″ diameter

Estimate: $7,000–10,000
January 2021 Modern Art & Design Auction

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