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


Giovanni Anselmo (b. 1934)
stone, magnetic compass and glass
27½ x 40 1/8 x 6 7/8in. (70 x 102 x 17.5cm.)
Executed in 1967-78
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in the 1980s.
Giovanni Anselmo, exh. cat., Kleve, Museum Kurhaus, 2004-2005 (illustrated, p. 44).
Giovanni Anselmo, exh. cat., Bologna, Galleria d'Arte Moderna, 2007 (illustrated, p. 60).
Venice, XLIV Biennale d'Arte Internazionale, 1990.
Santiago de Compostela, Centro Galego De Arte, Giovanni Anselmo, 1995 (illustrated in colour, pp. 197, 201, 203 and 231).
Nice, Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Giovanni Anselmo, 1996 (illustrated in colour, pp. 193, 197, 199 and 227).
Trento, Castel Ivano, Artmonie Architettura e scultura negli spazi pubblici, 1997.
Naples, Castel Sant-Elmo, Grande opera Italiana, 2002.
Milano, Fondazione Arnoldo Pomodoro, La scultura Italiana del XX secole, 2005.
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.

Lot Essay

The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by the artist.

'I, the world, things, life, we are situations of energy and the important thing is precisely not to crystallized these situations, but keep them open and alive in terms of our living. Since all manners of thinking or being must correspond to a manner of behaving, 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.' (Anselmo, 'I, The World, Things, Life' in G. Celant Arte Povera, New York, 1969, p. 109).

A series of granite blocks set in alignment to the North pole of the planet in accordance with the direction of a compass needle embedded within them, Giovanni Anselmo's Direzione (Direction) sculptures are a major series of works made between 1967 and 1968 at the height of the artist's involvement with Arte Povera. Solid, rough-hewn blocks of stone, they are among the first major series of creations that Anselmo made in the wake of the epiphany he experienced in 1965 while climbing the volcano Stromboli where he discovered at sunrise that the rising sun, below the horizon line of the volcano had cast his shadow into the apparent infinity of the sky. This elemental transfiguration of the artist's usually earthbound presence (in the form of his shadow) into the infinity of space awoke in Anselmo a sense of responsibility towards making works of art in accordance with the vast, eternal and unseen physical and elemental laws of the universe.

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