Architect, painter, designer, sculptor, philosopher… The Italian Gaetano Pesce, creator of the famous Up armchair series, has died. He was 84 years old.

The New York-based designer, known for his colorful and playful furniture, had battled “health issues” in recent months but “stayed positive and always curious,” and “it is with heavy hearts that we announce the death of this visionary creator,” announces the press release published on his Instagram account, Thursday April 4.

Among his best-known creations are the Up armchairs, a series of anthropomorphic foam seats, including one evoking the body of a voluptuous woman. “In the space of six decades, Gaetano has revolutionized the fashions of art, design, architecture and the spaces at the borders of these categories”, underlines the press release, saluting “his incomparable originality and audacity”.

Born in 1939 in La Spezia, a port city in Liguria, Gaetano Pesce studied architecture in Venice then taught in Strasbourg for twenty-eight years, but also in Pittsburgh, Milan, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo and New York, where he was installed in 1980.

His works are exhibited in the permanent collections of prestigious museums such as the MoMA in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Center Pompidou in Paris.