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signed and dated 'Arnaldo Pomodoro 1976 .p.a.' (to the underside of the sculpture)
bronze on artist's base
sculpture: diameter: 19 3⁄4in. (50cm.)
base: 2 3⁄8 x 19 1⁄4 x 19 1⁄4in. (6 x 49.6 x 49.6cm.)

Executed in 1976, this work is an additional artist's proof aside from the edition of two plus one artist's proof
Marlborough Gallery, New York.
Private Collection, New York (acquired from the above in 1977).
Thence by descent to the present owner.
F. Gualdoni (ed.), Arnaldo Pomodoro, Catalogo ragionato della scultura, Milan 2007, vol. II, p. 591, no. 591 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 591).
Lugano, Imago Art Gallery, Arnaldo Pomodoro. Sculture dal 1963 al 2011, 2012 (another from the edition exhibited, unpaged).
Monaco, Palais de La Scala, Le silence est dor, 2013 (another from the edition exhibited and illustrated in colour, unpaged).
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.
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Post lot text
This work is registered in the Archivio Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, under no. AP 378 and accompanied by a photo certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

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Lot Essay

Held in the same collection since 1977, Arnaldo Pomodoro’s Sfera (1976) is a gleaming example of the artist’s most iconic signature form. A perfect, polished golden orb is split jaggedly round its equator, revealing an interior of glinting geometric circuitry. While his earliest sculptural reliefs had reflected a fascination with the strange, alien forms of ‘writing’ found in Paul Klee’s works, Pomodoro started to explore more celestial shapes following a pivotal visit to the United States in 1959. Already fascinated by the technological advances of the Space Race—and in particular by the perfect sphere of Russia’s Sputnik satellite, which had launched in 1957—he was struck in New York’s Museum of Modern Art by the sleek, futuristic refinement of the sculptures of Constantin Brâncu?i, as well as the Abstract Expressionism of Jackson Pollock. The juxtaposition of modernist polish with more violent forms of mark-making is characteristic of mature works like Sfera, whose globe of bronze gapes like a crystalline wound.

‘I set up a contrast to their smooth and polished parts, a discordant tension, a completeness made out of things that are incomplete,’ Pomodoro explained. ‘This very same act is a way of freeing myself from an absolute form. I destroy it. But also multiply it. Sculpture for me is a process of excavation and relief, without defining a space, and without establishing a centre’ (A. Pomodoro quoted in G. Carandente, Arnaldo Pomodoro, exh. cat. The Hakone Open Air Museum, Japan 1994, p. 24). Opening into a filigree of complex texture, Sfera is a work governed by ambiguity. It seems both an organic object and artificial structure; it echoes the internal workings of bodies and machines alike; it might be a Rosetta-stone-like relic, or a gleaming beacon from a future technological age. Indeed, working in the traditional ‘lost-wax’ casting technique, Pomodoro’s process dialogues with thousands of years of human creativity. At once viscerally primal and intricately worked, Sfera resounds with an aura of mythic, cosmic revelation.

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