The Man Behind The Legacy
Paolo Pallucco, born in Rome in 1950, stands as a remarkable figure in the world of Italian design. Trained originally as an architect, Pallucco quickly transcended his roots to become an avant-garde force in design. He founded his own design companies, Pallucco and Pallucco Design, in the early ’80s, setting the stage for a blend of modernism and postmodernism that would distinguish his work.
Redefining Modern Classics with Pallucco
In 1980, Paolo Pallucco initiated a revolution in Italian design by founding Pallucco. More than just a manufacturing company, Pallucco was an institution that produced iconic works by other designers, including Simon, as well as Pallucco himself. But what set it apart was its focus on reissuing modern classics, a concept that would only become mainstream later in the decade. Pieces such as Mariano Fortuny’s ‘Fortuny’ floor lamp and Robert Mallet-Stevens’ ‘Model No. 222’ chair were brought back to life under Pallucco’s visionary guidance.
Merging Collaborative Creativity: Pallucco Design
In 1984, Pallucco expanded his brand by founding Pallucco Design, where his work was managed separately. This separate entity allowed him to engage in collaborations, the most iconic of which was with Mareille Rivier. Together, they designed the 1984 “Fra Dolcino” shelving unit and the memorable 1987 “Tankette” table, which dramatically mimicked tank treads. Such collaborative ventures expanded the Pallucco brand beyond individual designs to include partnerships that fueled creative synergy.
Challenging Aesthetics and Tradition
Pallucco’s designs often defied tradition and comfort, pivoting towards radicalism. This is evident in the avant-garde manufacturing expertise he acquired over the years. His disregard for conventional aesthetics led him to produce seating, storage furniture, and tables that defied the norm. Works like the ‘Tankette’ coffee table were inspired by a medley of influences ranging from war machines to the poetic works of Rainer Maria Rilke. It’s a design language that shifts effortlessly from nostalgia to a radical future vision.
A Retrospective: Luck and Sex. That’s all.
The exhibition “Luck and Sex. That’s all.” was held at Paris’ Ketabi Projects until March 2022 and stands as a tribute to Pallucco’s enduring impact on design. Curated by Paul Bourdet, Stefan Cosma, and Charlotte Ketabi-Lepard, the exhibition covers 40 of Pallucco’s designs. These include collaborations with his wife, Mireille Rivier and works he produced for the Comme des Garçons boutiques throughout the 1980s.
Conclusion and the Road Ahead
Paolo Pallucco remains one of the 1980s most radical designers, effortlessly merging modernist and postmodernist sensibilities. His influence is not confined to his designs alone but extends to his role as a design editor and entrepreneur. An upcoming book slated for late 2022 promises to delve deeper into the life and work of this revolutionary designer, offering further insights into his multi-faceted legacy.
Paolo Pallucco’s oeuvre stands as a testament to a career built on challenging norms and inspiring a new generation of designers. His journey underscores the limitless possibilities that open up when one dares to venture beyond the conventional boundaries of design.
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