Which famous architect is this?turning the other cheek


An homage to a cheeky Gaetano Pesce sculpture on show in New York

The Italian multi-disciplinarian Gaetano Pesce has seen plenty of his bold designs realised in the last six decades. He’s done everything from the Pluralist Tower in Sao Paulo to New York offices for the ad agency Chiat Day, and truck loads of funky furniture.

One scheme that didn’t get off the drawing board or out of the model shop was the entrance for a Manhattan skyscraper. Designed in 1972, it comprises a super-size pair of naked buttocks. If that’s not bold enough, the cheeks are being pulled apart by a pair of hands – presumably, though not necessarily, belonging to the owner of the buttocks. The model was said to be a well-known but unnamed architect.

The sculpture has been reinvented for the sake of art. Lichen! Libido! Chastity! At the SculptureCentre is London artist Anthea Hamilton’s first solo US show. In it, she explores cultural appropriation and pop culture, mining countercultures in music, fashion, and design. “Hamilton questions the representation of cultural phenomena through popular media in her sculptures and videos,” says the curator.

The artwork Project for door (After Gaetano Pesce) is the show’s centrepiece, and was made with the support of the Italian. This time, Hamilton’s model is an anonymous but high-profile cultural figure.

Hamilton says of the piece: “it's almost like an anchor for viewers to consider to look at the space, and change their perception of the space. It's a scale, a measure to place their own bodies in relation to the work. It's large, but there are also smaller works in the show. You begin to question, ‘What is human size?’.”

Given the cheeky nature of the centrepiece, that might not be all that gallery visitors will question.