While the sleek, voluptuous external surfaces of Sfera might evoke the abstract sculpture of Constantin Brancusi and Jean Arp, Pomodoro divergently sought to invest abstraction with deeply human elements. During the post-war years, he considered “the perfection of the form in our time inappropriate; it has to be destroyed. 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). The ‘deconstruction’ element of Sfera relates to the negative space formed by the deep gash around the circumference of the work. Such interiorised forms recall the violent cuts of Pomodoro’s contemporary, Lucio Fontana, both in their profound spatial expression and self-reflexive nature. While Pomodoro’s globe-like sculpture and its central fractures might symbolise a castigated, corrupted world and the psychological trauma of the post-war period, the interior forms might also present an act of self-revelation and introspection; thus the notion of reflection not only indicates the polished surface of the work, but also its inherent visual parallel to inwardness, and reference to the self. Indeed, the dichotomy between internal and external, inward and outward self persists throughout Pomodoro’s spectacular oeuvre, of which Sfera plays an imperative part.
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