Biography

Born in Rome in 1950 and originally trained as an architect, Paolo Pallucco is undoubtedly one of the most radical and committed designers of the 1980s, both in terms of the pieces he produced and his colorful personality.

 

At the turn of the 90’s, many designers toned down their statements to enter into a production more suitable for the general public, leaving aside the uncompromising character of the past years. Pallucco sells his company in 1988 and turns the page in 1990, remaining forever a young designer of high integrity, not allowing half measures or concessions to alter his vision.

Paulo Pallucco founds Pallucco in 1980, the primary object of the company being the reedition of forgotten creations from the first half of the 20th century, such as the Fortuny floor lamp, the chair by Robert Mallet-Stevens or the Sandows chair by René Herbst. Although these are not his own creations, he is already a trailblazer. Indeed, the phenomenon of reediting was born in the 1980s and the modernist style of the 1930s was rediscovered at the very beginning of the decade. Thanks to this first activity, Pallucco has at its disposal the most advanced industrial production means, allowing it a few years later to produce a radical furniture of extreme quality. This particularity is quite unique for the 80’s, as designers often had a hard time finding industrialists bold enough to make their production tools available. His furniture is so well produced that he allows himself to add more or less absurd functions, industrial elements linked to the world of the machine, thus imitating Modernist furniture characterized by the search for absolute functionalism and economy of means to the detriment of aesthetics or comfort.

 

His creations are deeply anchored in the 1980s ideology of refusal of the previous decades and the Modernist precepts. Always in this idea of rupture, his pieces integrate many references to the vocabulary of warfare: the coffee table Tankette, 1987 evoking the chains of a tank, the armchair Barba d’Argento, 1986 recalling a machine gun or the coat rack Bocca da Fuoco, 1987 a kind of cannon in full explosion.

Pallucco’s furniture can not be considered and appreciated only by its aesthetic aspect but also through all the references it integrates, such as the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke in the first place, but also cinema, photography and although he is himself an atheist, the Catholic religion— still omnipresent at the time in Europe and especially in Italy. But Paolo Pallucco would not be Pallucco without his surroundings. Starting with his wife at the time, Mireille Rivier, a Franco-Swiss woman without whom nothing would have been possible. The creations are signed with their four hands. He, a crazy dreamer, has the ideas, she, a pragmatic designer, transposes them to reality, making them feasible and producible. If concessions have to be made to the original idea, the project is always abandoned. The designs are thus the fruit of a love story, of a complicity and a complementarity. And then there are the others, such as Peter Lindbergh, star photographer of the time. His fees are unimaginable for the niche company of an already niche market but Paolo Pallucco gives it a try. Lindbergh is seduced and becomes his photographer. There are also a few designers whose pieces he will produce such as Rei Kawakubo : after an aesthetic shock during the visit of the Comme des Garçons boutique in Tokyo, Pallucco offers the Japanese designer to collaborate. He will produce all the furniture she designs for the brand’s boutiques.

 

 

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