Lot 64
  • 64

Arnaldo Pomodoro

300,000 - 500,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Arnaldo Pomodoro
  • Sfera con Sfera
  • signed, dated 1995/97 and numbered 5/9 on the base
  • bronze
  • 80 by 80 by 80 cm. 31 1/2 by 31 1/2 by 31 1/2 in.
  • This work is number 5 from an edition of 9, plus two artist’s proofs.


Nicola Loi Studio Copernico, Milan

Acquired from the above by the present owner  


Palermo, Palazzo Comitini, La Porta dei Re: Il progetto di Arnaldo Pomodoro per il portale del Duomo di Cefalù, April - June 1998 (edition no. unknown)

Castellamonte, Palazzo Botton, Arnaldo Pomodoro. Grafiche, May - June 1998 (edition no. unknown)

Varese, Rettorato dell’Università, Castello di Masnago, Arnaldo Pomodoro a Varese, December 1998 - March 1999, p. 102, illustrated (edition no. unknown) 

Palma de Mallorca, Llonja, Casal Balaguer, Arnaldo Pomodoro, August - September 1999 (edition no. unknown)

New York, Marlborough Gallery, Arnaldo Pomodoro: Architectural Projects, November - December 2000 (edition no. unknown) 


Sam Hunter, Arnaldo Pomodoro 'Sphere within a Sphere' for the U.N. Headquarters, Rome 1997, pp. 20-21, illustrated (edition no. unknown) 

G. Ballo, ‘Il Mistero del Segno’, Arte In, No. 55, May - June 1998, p. 33, illustrated (edition no. unknown)

C. Del Vando, 'Arnaldo Pomodoro: Tradición y Modernidad', Descubrir el Arte, No. 19, Madrid, September 2000, p. 77, illustrated (edition no. unknown) 

Flaminio Gualdoni, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Catalogo Ragionato della Scultura, Vol. II, Milan 2007, p. 730, no. 952, illustrated (edition no. unknown)

Catalogue Note

Executed in 1995-97, Sfera con Sfera is archetypal of Arnaldo Pomodoro’s signature spherical sculptures, many of which are today housed in esteemed international collections, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.. Appropriating the simple form of the sphere, Pomodoro assaults its pristine, polished surface to reveal a network of internal structures. The sphere is thus transformed into a multiplicity of paradoxes which are all effortlessly united into one symphonic entity. The juxtaposition of the inner layers’ rich texture with the beautifully smooth exterior creates a sense of drama that seduces the viewer into the work’s highly complex narrative.

Pomodoro began his working career as a civil engineer shortly after the end of the Second World War, reconstructing buildings that had been destroyed by conflict. This notion of destruction and regeneration runs through his entire output and has become a defining characteristic of his sculptures. The sleek external layer of Sfera con Sfera evokes a perfect and complete world, whilst the inner chaos is evocative of something more akin to a ruined city. The unique interplay of positive and negative space, presence and absence, exquisitely captures this tension between past and present. As the artist explained: “For me the ‘destruction’ element in form was my most important discovery, and the most authentic both in terms of myself and my times” (Arnaldo Pomodoro cited in: Sam Hunter, Arnaldo Pomodoro, New York 1982, p. 52). It was after seeing an installation of Constantin Brancusi’s modernist sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that Pomodoro first explored the incongruous idea of destruction as a form of creation. In taking on the gleaming property of polished bronze Pomodoro looked to unsettle the perfect simplicity of Brancusi’s pared-back sculptures; perforating the sensual perfection of the sleek surfaces of his spheres, he exposes the gritty truths that lie behind the veil of perfection invoked by the polished and homogenous outer shell.

Throughout his oeuvre Pomodoro explored the relationship between the individual sculpture and its environment. The artist believes that sculpture is the realisation of a space of its own within the greater space in which it is situated. By eliminating the concept of frontality, which encourages the viewer to walk around Sfera con Sfera in order to view it from multiple perspectives, the sculpture changes the way the viewer experiences his surroundings. As explained by the artist: “When a work transforms the place in which it is located, it takes on the valence of a true and proper witness of the times that spawned it, and thus places a mark on its context, enriching it with additional layers of memory” (Arnaldo Pomodoro, Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, 2008, online).  To this day Pomodoro’s spheres have continued to transform their surroundings, displayed on a monumental scale in the Vatican Museum in Rome, Trinity College in Dublin, the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, and the Tel Aviv University in Israel, to name a few.