Lot 23
  • 23

Pino Pascali

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Pino Pascali
  • Bomba a mano
  • signed Pascali on the lever of the grenade; signed Pascali, dated and inscribed Diario il 24.1.67 ho ricaricato la bomba con questo biglietto. l'ho riverniciata oggi con smalto verde di ... (on the note)
  • hand grenade containing a note
  • 10 by 5.5cm.
  • 4 by 2 1/8 in.
  • Executed in 1967.


Anna Paparatti, Rome (acquired directly from the artist)


Marco Tonelli, Pascali Catalogo Generale delle sculture dal 1964 al 1968 , Rome, 2011, no. 33, illustrated p. 124

Catalogue Note

Bomba a mano represents an intensely loaded work from Pascali’s most acclaimed body of work, the iconic series of military weapons Le Armi, and forms perhaps the most distinctive highlight of his tragically brief career.

Alongside the larger sculptures of weapons the artist produced three smaller works – a painted mortar shell, three plastic grenades and the present work, a real grenade containing a handwritten note reading: ‘Diary 24. 1. 1967 I have recharged this bomb with this message written on paper, I have re painted it today with old green cadmio enamel of…’. By removing the internal structure of the grenade and instead including his note, Pascali transforms the work into a readymade object. In true Duchampian style, he ‘recharges’ its meaning, removing the danger and turning an object designed for killing into a vessel for his artistic intention. His study of weapons was  inspired by contemporary life, 'Pascali did not join any political movement, he liked to provoke through art. His sabotage was to shift weapons from the battlefield to the art field, thus amazing the public, art dealers and collectors. The political gesture is in the paradox: offering weapons that don’t fire in order to disarm war' (Anna D’Elia, ‘Il Teppista Dell ‘Arte’, in Pino Pascali: ritorno a Venezia (exhibition catalogue), Esposizione Internationale d’Arte di Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2011, p. 28).