Gaetano Pesce. Church of Solitude Project, New York, New York, Transverse section. 1974-77

Gaetano Pesce Church of Solitude Project, New York, New York, Transverse section 1974-77

  • Not on view

Gaetano Pesce's Church of Solitude was conceived in reaction to his experience of New York in the 1970s, where he saw people living together, "helter-skelter in crowds." To provide a serene place for introspection and contemplation, he buried the church beneath a vacant lot amid the towers of the city. The silent sanctuary incorporated small individual cells, a further retreat from the city's corporate and institutional culture. An excavated landscape was, for Pesce, an overlooked space that could provide for people's future needs.

Publication excerpt from an essay by Bevin Cline and Tina di Carlo, in Terence Riley, ed., The Changing of the Avant-Garde: Visionary Architectural Drawings from the Howard Gilman Collection, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2002, p. 133.
Watercolor, colored ink, and pencil on paper
59 1/4 x 59" (150.5 x 149.9 cm)
Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation
Object number
© 2021 Gaetano Pesce
Architecture and Design

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].