In this much-anticipated monograph, critic and curator Glenn Adamson portraits the expanse of the Italian architect and designer’s idiosyncratic oeuvre

Dense, illustrative, and inventive in form, the physical volume of Gaetano Pesce: The Complete Incoherence takes cues from its subject. When the cover is lifted, its title text remains imprinted on a semi-transparent jacket—an aptly idiosyncratic design by which to display the work of Gaetano Pesce, an inarguably strange and subversive figure. The book is weighted with 250 images and 20 chapters of text—which, considering the breadth of the artist’s work, is fairly conservative.

Acclaimed curator and critic Glenn Adamson recruited Pesce himself in order to render a proper retrospective—interviewing him in seven sessions, over the course of a year, to produce a text that prods the eminent Italian architect and designer’s multiplicitous oeuvre and distinctive mind.

Left: Image courtesy of the artist and Salon 94 Design. © Gaetano Pesce. Right: © Gaetano Pesce, courtesy of the Gaetano Pesce Office.

The Complete Incoherence is dotted with never-before and very-rarely-seen works: a scan of a drawing from childhood, portraits from family photo albums, documentations of Pesce’s earliest performances. This intimate memorabilia is sat next to his best-known works; the book’s eighth chapter, for instance, details his illustrious designs made for the apartment of Alberto Carenza—the provocative shapes of its bookcases and clothes hangers.

“It’s a fool’s errand, trying to put Gaetano Pesce between two covers,” Adamson writes in the book’s introduction. And while the man and his immense catalog aren’t wholly encapsulated in its pages, The Complete Incoherence carries Pesce’s essence—his transgressive voice and unorthodox eye.

Powerhouse collection. Gift of Cassina, 1985. Photo Jean-François Lanzarone.