Artist/ Designer: Gaetano Pesce
b. 1939, La Spezia, Italy
Title: Pratt Chair
Medium: Hand-molded urethane resin
Dimensions: 35.25" h x 19.5" x 20.25"
Details: From the Suite of Nine Pratt Chairs in a total series of 9 each. Mold mark "New York 1984" under front of seat. Marked with hot stamped number 8. Excellent condition. We have used lighting in these photos to highlight the opacity and transparency of this chair, without direct lighting the color is darker, more mysterious, but still luminous in any lighting situation.
Notes from the Archive: The Suite of Nine Pratt Chairs was commissioned by the Pratt Institute as an experiment in the use of industrial materials as a furniture construction material. Gaetano Pesce chose urethane resin, with colors that varied greatly throughout the series and whose intensity increases in the sequence of chairs. Each example was poured by hand into a mold, resulting in unique variations. The first chair in the series had the least amount of hardener in the resin, so it has no structural integrity and collapses on the floor, unable to hold its own weight; in contrast the ninth chair in the series (with the most hardener in the resin) is too rigid to be comfortable. This version is number 8 in the series is structurally very sound and yet has enough resilience to the material to be very comfortable to sit on. Small figurative symbols are inlaid around and under the chair in contrasting colors; emblems that express Pesce's thoughts on design. A smiling face is seen on the back of the chair, with a double profile to the side and several cards left on the seat. A hand print impression (perhaps Pesce's own?) is placed at the top of the back of the chair exactly where one might put their hand to move the chair, so your thumb fits exactly in the groove. Other symbols include a labyrinth, geometric forms, a series of dots that illustrate the Pythagoream theorem, a fig, a bunch of grapes, a couple making love, a suitcase and several hands. Versions of this chair are in both the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and MoMA permanent collections.
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