Giovanni Anselmo (B. 1934)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Giovanni Anselmo (B. 1934)

Senza titolo (Untitled)

Giovanni Anselmo (B. 1934)
Senza titolo (Untitled)
granite block, steel cord and canvas
89 x 57 1/8 x 27 ½in. (226 x 145 x 70cm.)
Executed in 1984
Micheline Szwajcer Gallery, Antwerp.
Acquired from the above by the previous owner.
Antwerp, Micheline Szwajcer Gallery, Giovanni Anselmo, 1984.
Ghent, S.M.A.K., Giovanni Anselmo, 2004-2005.
Ghent, Museumcultuur, Arte Povera A-Z, 2015- 2016.
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.

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Mariolina Bassetti
Mariolina Bassetti

Lot Essay

I, the world, things, life, we are situations of energy and the important thing is not to crystallize these situations, but keep them open and alive – like life processes…My works are really the physification (sic) of the force behind an action, of the energy of a situation or event etc. and not its experience in terms of annotated signs, or just still life...I believe it is vital that there exist the most absolute freedom of choice or of use of materials; it thus becomes nonsense to talk of styles, form or antiform.’

Ever since the early 1960s, Giovanni Anselmo has made works that concern themselves with and express the fundamental, elemental and often unseen or invisible forces of nature operating in the world. Gravity, magnetism, time (the deep time of the physicists), invisibility and infinity are the basic materials and forces which Anselmo both invokes and makes use of in his art. In Senza titolo of 1984, the principle force at work is that of gravity. Two granite blocks are suspended in a state of tension, paradox and equilibrium. The work is a development of a famous earlier, untitled work made in 1969 in which Anselmo suspended a single granite block with a cable from a gallery wall. In this earlier work the invisible force of gravity was eloquently made visible by the suspension of the granite block high on the wall. A strong sense of tension and of paradox was also established by the fact that the cable that attached it to the wall made use of a slip knot so that it was the immense weight of the suspended granite block that effectively also held it in place.

In this 1984 extension of the theme, it is also the weight of another granite block - of roughly equally weight and size and held on the other side of the partition wall -that keeps both blocks elevated. Implicit also within all Anselmo’s work is a consideration of its evolutionary existence over a great expanse of time. All Anselmo’s work is created with a view to the universal forces functioning throughout the cosmos and of how these forces interact with and determine the unique and specific conditions of the here and now. Within the context of what physicists describe as ‘deep time’ - i.e. over millions and millions of years - the partition wall that separates this work will disintegrate. The cable that holds the granite blocks will rust and decay, the tension between the two will be broken and, inevitably the granite blocks will fall back to earth. Being made from rough hewn, granite, however – among the most durable and toughest stones on earth – the two granite blocks are likely to remain existing for a long time after their inevitable descent. Monuments, perhaps, of the brief moment in time when Anselmo chose to pair them, suspended above the earth from whence they came. ‘I have been making works’ Anselmo said, ‘using the idea that they are either time, in a broad sense, or infinity, or the invisible, or everything, perhaps simply because I am an earthling and for this reason limited in time, space and specifics.’ (Giovanni Anselmo, ‘Interview with Mirella Bandini’, NAC no 3, Bari, March 1973, p. 4.)

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