Maesta Soffrente @ Salone Milan 2019

Maesta Soffrente @ Salone Milan 2019

For the 2019 Fuorisalone, Gaetano Pesce’s Maestà Soffrente soars 8 meters high in Milan’s Piazza Duomo

The work, which literally translates as  ‘suffering majesty ’ is situated in a prime position in front of the city’s famous cathedral, and will be seen by hundreds of thousands of city workers and visitors from all around the globe.

The original work by Gaetano Pesce ( Italian designer and architect ) highlighted the treatment of women and the disparity between the sexes. the famous object, which itself is reminiscent of the female form, was tied to a spherical footrest, embodying the image of a woman being a prisoner, tied to the prejudice of men

It was perhaps the first industrial design project imbued with a political statement.

With a form reminiscent of the female body paired to a spheric leg rest, the chair is a symbol of woman as a prisoner to male prejudices. A theme which, even after fifty years, remains a crucial subject in public discourse

The original chair form now has the addition of countless arrows embedded into the surface, highlighting the issue of violence against women.


I don’t mind at all, it seems like a contemporary message. It is very contemporary even though it is 50 years ago – it is right that we talk about it because we are still surprised when a femicide happens. testimony, let’s talk about it, then it must be good. It is right to give honor to Gaetano Pesce. ” ………..   Giuseppe Sala ( Mayor of Milan ) 




The installation also sees a number of mounted animal heads, created from polystyrene and varnished fiberglass and mounted on an iron structures.


It was 1969 when the designer first created the chair inspired by the female form with a ball and chain — a piece which became a symbol in the fight for women’s liberation and which still remains relevant today.

Tall and bulky, the chair comes as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Up 5 chair, which together with the Up 6 footrest was designed by Gaetano Pesce for B&B Italia (formerly Cassina&Busnelli).




About Gaetano Pesce

Gaetano Pesce

Born 8th Nov 1939


Gaetano Pesce is an Italian architect and a design pioneer of the 20th century.

He was born in La Spezia in 1939, and he grew up in Padua and Florence

During his 50-year career, Gaetano has worked as an architect, urban planner, and industrial designer.

His outlook is considered broad and humanistic, and his work is characterized by an inventive use of color and materials, asserting connections between the individual and society, through art, architecture, and design to reappraise mid-twentieth century modern life

He studied architecture at the University of Venice, with such notable teachers as Carlo Scarpa and Ernesto Rogers.

Between 1958 and 1963, Gaetano participated in Gruppo N, an early collective concerned with programmed art patterned after the Bauhaus.

Since the 1960s, Gaetano has been known to relate art to the design of interiors, products, and architecture.

Throughout his designs, he is particularly notable for his use of resin, foam and other industrial grade mediums in his works.

Gaetano’s well known work includes Organic Building in Osaka, Japan, a Landmark vertical garden building designed to concealing a complex, computer-controlled hydration system to sustain plant growth, and the interior architecture of the Chiat/Day offices, an early workplace village modelled after urban life.

Among Mr. Pesce’s other architecture achievements are Les Halles ACIH (1979) and Parc de la Villette (1985), Paris, France, a complex of forms shaped like a running child.

Mr. Pesce’s prototypical three-dimensional models and architectural drawings are held in the permanent museum collections of MoMA, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City; the Philadelphia Museum of Art,PA; San Francisco Museum of Art, California; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Vitra Design Museum, Germany; Danish Museum of Art & Design, Copenhagen; Centre Pompidou and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France, and the Triennale Museum, Milan, Italy.

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