- Arnaldo Pomodoro
- Sfera con sfera
- signed, dated 1995 and numbered 6/9 on the base
James Goodman Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner
(A. M. Hammacher in: Exhibition Catalogue, Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Arnaldo Pomodoro, 1969, p.7)
Executed in 1995, Sfera con Sfera is a remarkable example of the artist’s inexhaustible and particularly outstanding commitment to form and process: “with the spheres, Arnaldo Pomodoro arrived at a further expression of the total autonomy of his style. There is no one right way up… They are negated spheres which, when rotated, do not present ever identical aspects, but, on the contrary, ever changing aspects of which no one has precedence or priority” (A.M. Hammacher, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Rotterdam 1969, p. 59). Experimenting with curved surfaces, to escape from figures characterised by an aesthetically pleasing composition, Pomodoro never ceased expanding his interest and research on the relationship between sculpture and dynamic forms.
Motivated by Paul Klee’s cubist surface patterns and Jackson Pollock’s energetic gesturalism, and reacting against Constantin Brancusi’s geometric, reflective and polished surfaces that transmit a sense of perfection, Arnaldo Pomodoro, one of Italy’s most prominent avant-garde representatives of the mid-sixties, led neo-constructivist bronze sculpture towards a new direction. The exploration of negation and destruction of form is one of his recurring themes, through which he conveys a sense of today’s world transformation, addressing the problematic of our age with deliberate surface perforations and erosions: “for me the ‘destruction’ element in form was my most important discovery, and the most authentic both in terms of myself and my times” (the artist quoted in: Sam Hunter, Pomodoro Arnaldo, New York 1982, p.57).
“Painstakingly cast by the ancient lost-wax process, these powerful works unite a centuries-old tradition of exquisite craftsmanship with contemporary approach to form and surface” (Sam Hunter, Pomodoro Arnaldo, New York 1982, n.p.). Audacious and original, Pomodoro’s work has an obvious affiliation with the past: he does not want to abandon his expert craftsmanship and his Italian origins, even as he welcomes America’s technology, energy and modernism. “I felt the impact of a new natural and man-made environment as well as a new social, historical and psychological environment” (the artist quoted in: Ibid., p.194).
Distinguished by an exceptional intensity of expression, Sfera con Sfera's surface articulations are, “slashed, pierced and stamped with distinctive patterns that suggest the passage of time and the corruption of modern society” (Sam Hunter, Pomodoro Arnaldo, New York 1982, n.p.). This on-going theme, suggesting tension between past and present, Italy and America, is an important aspect found in all of Pomodoro’s sculptures, which reinforces the metaphor of social and physical corruption, transmitting a sense of limited stability between science and nature. “I interpret my surface erosions and irregularities as symbols of the distinctive impulse… I wanted to suggest that the misuse of our technology could destroy mankind” (the artist quoted in: Ibid., p.58). Through his marks and patterns he communicates a sense of “anxiety regarding the destructive possibilities of technological progress” amplifying those years’ existential concerns (Sam Hunter, Pomodoro Arnaldo, New York 1982, p.57).