A critic once described the work of the designer Gaetano Pesce, who has practiced for more than 60 years, as the “architectural equivalent of a brainstorm.” Even now, at 82, the Italian-born, New York-based polymath continues to rage with the force of a Technicolor tornado. Among his recent objects is this resin triptych screen, an abstract depiction of Manhattan’s high-rises with a fiery red sun on the horizon. Like much of Pesce’s work, which often combines spiky sociopolitical commentary with Dadaesque brio, the room divider is audacious, colorful and definitely not minimalist. It’s a companion piece to his blobby 1980 Tramonto a New York sofa, which evokes the titular metropolis with foam-filled armrests as skyscrapers and a stuffed scarlet sun backrest. At the time he made it, he was concerned that the city had lost its ability to inspire, roiled as it was by recession and crime. In resurfacing the skyline motif, Pesce strikes a hopeful note, reminding us that misery tends to be transitory. “I thought of the screen as not only functional but also an expression of positivity and optimism for a better world in the future,” he says. Cassina Tramonto a New York screen, price on request, cassina.com.
Photo assistant: Enea Arienti