Arnaldo Pomodoro (b. 1926)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Arnaldo Pomodoro (b. 1926)

Il Cubo

Arnaldo Pomodoro (b. 1926)
Il Cubo
signed, dated and numbered 'Arnaldo Pomodoro 1961-62 2/2' (on the base)
bronze with gold patina
29¾ x 42¼ x 41 7/8 in. (75 x 107.3 x 106.5 cm.) (including base) 26 3/8 x 42¼ x 41 7/8 in. (67 x 107.3 x 106.5 cm.) (excluding base)
Executed circa 1961-62, this work is number two from an edition of two
Maeda Collection, Tokyo, by whom acquired directly from the artist. Private collection, Switzerland, by whom acquired from the above.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2003.
Exh. cat., Arnaldo Pomodoro, New York, Marlborough - Gerson Gallery, 1965 (another cast illustrated).
Exh. cat., Arnaldo Pomodoro, Berkeley, University Art Museum, 1971 (another cast illustrated).
Exh. cat., Arnaldo Pomodoro, Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris, 1976 (another cast illustrated).
S. Hunter, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, 1995 (another cast illustrated p. 100).
Hakone, The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Arnaldo Pomodoro 1956-1993, January - March 1994, no. 7 (illustrated p. 34). This exhibition later travelled to Toyama, The Museum of Modern Art, April - May 1994; Tokyo, Ohara Museum of Art, May - July 1994 and Nishinomiya City, Otani Memorial Art Museum, October - December 1994.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium

Lot Essay

This work is registered in the Arnaldo Pomodoro Archives, Milan, under no. 176.

Il Cubo appears to be the result of a gleaming science fiction dream that has crashed against the rock of reality. Its pseudo-technological guts have been rent and revealed through the holes that Pomodoro has sculpted in the surface. Like a hidden world escaping its bounds and spilling into our own reality, this more detailed dimension, lurking beneath the uniform flatness of the cube's implied original state, hints deeper levels of existence and understanding in this world, as though through the intervention of hazard we have suddenly become able to perceive the strings that control our world.

The contrast between the textures of Il Cubo, which was executed early in Pomodoro's career as a sculptor and dates from the period in which he discovered the visual idiom for which he has become renowned, owes much to the artist's own background, as well as to the wider backdrop of Europe during the 1950s and early 1960s. For Pomodoro had originally been an architect involved in the reconstruction of the battle-scarred Post-War Italy. In Il Cubo, then, the texture of the new architecture of hope is evident as much as its own mortality, its exposed guts, the violence that necessitated new buildings in the first place.

In this sculpture, Pomodoro deliberately explores the tension between the sheen of the shiny flat surfaces and the tears that reveal the strange and intricate innards of Il Cubo. Like the inside of a piano or of some strange and impossible machine, these painstakingly-created elements reveal Pomodoro's interest only in science and technology, in the new machines that had made space exploration and skyscrapers a shiny reality. Il Cubo also allows the artist to explore the more formal aspects of sculpture. With their tooth-like formations, the small elements make use of the space that they pierce and cut into as much as they do of the metal itself. Likewise, the large 'tears' that reveal this supposedly hidden surface themselves show the sculpture incorporating and even, on some level, devouring the space around it. In this way, Pomodoro makes use of the negative space that so fascinated him as a medium in the construction of his work.

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