GAETANO PESCE (b. 1939)
GAETANO PESCE (b. 1939)
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GAETANO PESCE (b. 1939)

'MOLOCH', AN IMPORTANT FLOOR LAMP, 1971

Details
GAETANO PESCE (b. 1939)
'MOLOCH', AN IMPORTANT FLOOR LAMP, 1971
number seventeen from an edition of twenty, produced by Bracciodiferro, anodised aluminium, painted steel, painted wood, plastic, glass
approximately 92 in. (233.7 cm.) high
base with applied plaque MOLOCH, RIDISEGNO DI GAETANO PESCE, PRODUZIONE-BRACCIODIFERRO, PRIMO CENTINAIO, ESAMPLERE N.017
Provenance
Sotheby's, New York, 16th November 2007, lot 111.
Literature
Similar examples illustrated:
Domus, no. 525, September 1972, p. 38;
Emilio Ambasz, ed., Italy: The New Domestic Landscape: Achievements and Problems of Italian Design, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1972, p. 97;
Giuliana Gramigna, Repertorio 1950/1980, Milan, 1985, p. 357;
France Vanlaethem, Gaetano Pesce: Architecture, Design, Art, London, 1989, p. 28
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 20%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. Where applicable Customs duty will be charged (per rate specified by HMRC guidance) on the Hammer price and VAT will be payable at 20% on duty. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Francis Outred
Francis Outred

Lot Essay

By 1970, the Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce had already established himself as a creator whose iconoclastic attitudes towards design chimed with the Pop Art sensibilities of the counter-culture. For the Moloch, Pesce distorts the Duchampian concept of the ready-made by radically enlarging a generic 1930s desk lamp, invoking the leviathan scale of Claes Oldenburg’s soft sculptures, that also referenced equally generic consumer products. Thus, a mundane, elemental and mass-produced utensil is now celebrated as an iconic, totemic metaphor for commercialisation and consumerism. Appropriately, and in synergy with these ethics, Pesce anointed his creation as Moloch – the ancient Ammonite god to whom certain Levantine tribes offered their children as sacrifice by fire, underlining flawed Utopianism, sacrifice and consumerism. Conceived at the close of the 1960s, Pesce’s Moloch fluently dissolves the boundaries that were perceived to exist between the fine and the industrial arts, to deliver a lasting icon of Pop Art design.
The Moloch was produced between 1970-1972 by Bracciodiferro, the experimental design studio of industrial furniture manufacturer Cassina, Italy. Originally conceived to be an edition of one hundred, it is estimated that less than twenty were ultimately produced before production was halted in 1975. An example of the Moloch, a gift of the manufacturer, is retained in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
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