New York Art@Site Arnaldo Pomodoro Sphere within a sphere

Arnaldo Pomodoro


Sphere within a Sphere

UN Headquartes
Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro is known to construct enormous spheres with layers of complexities. One of his monumental orbs stands tall as the centerpiece of the Courtyard of the Pinecone at the Vatican Museum. The structure titled Sfera con Sfera, translated as Sphere within a Sphere, is a bronze statue that appears golden as the sun shines down on it. It is 4 meters (a little over 13 feet) in diameter.
The Milan-based artist began his series of spheres in the 60's with Sphere no. 1 and has continued designing the globe-like pieces, each depicting a different map of destruction. Each tremendous ball is fractured, revealing an intricate interior that unveils yet another cracking orb. The design of the internal layers seem to mimicking the gears of a clock or the inner workings of a grand piano, making it appear very complicated.
Because of the sculptural installation's round shape, it also echoes the form of Earth. It isn't absolutely clear what the artist's intentions are, but it gives off the impression that it is reflecting the complexity of our world and how easily it can be torn apart.
Arnaldo Pomodoro (born 23 June 1926) is an Italian sculptor. He was born in Morciano, Romagna, Italy. He lives and works in Milan. His brother, Giò Pomodoro (1930–2002) was also a sculptor.
In 1953, Pomodoro attended an exhibition of Picasso which was held in Milan at the Palazzo Reale. This exhibition made a strong impression on him, and a year after he moved to Milan where he joined the artistic community and became friends with Lucio Fontana, Dangelo, Sanesi, Baj, and others. He took part in the 10th Triennale in Milan, and together with his brother Gio' he also participated in the Venice Biennale.
In 1959, Arnaldo Pomodoro received a grant to study American art, and traveled to the United States for the first time. He describes his visit to MoMa and seeing Brancusi's sculptures as a strong inspiration for his work. In San Francisco, he met Mark Rothko who was teaching at the California School of Fine Arts. In New York Pomodoro met Costantino Nivola and Enrico Donati who introduced him to such artists as Franz Kline, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol and others. He also met sculptors David Smith and Louise Nevelson, and organized an exhibition New Work from Italy, dedicated to the Italian artists.
Later in 1960s, he developed a collaboration with the Marlborough Gallery in New York. In 1963, Pomodoro received the International Prize for Sculpture at the VII São Paulo Biennale and also the National Prize for Sculpture at the XXXII Venice Biennale in 1964. In 1966, he became an artist in residence at Stanford University, and then at Berkeley University and Mills College. The following year he created the Sfera grande for the Italian Pavilion at the Montreal Expo. This sculpture is now located in front of the Farnesina Palace in Rome. That year Pomodoro won the International Prize for Sculpture from the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh.
In 1972, Arnaldo Pomodoro returned to set design, and worked on the play Das Käthchen von Heilbronn by Heinrich von Kleist, which was staged in Zurich. In 1984, he had a large retrospective exhibition at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence. In 1988, Pomodoro participated in the Venice Biennale as well as the international exhibition of sculpture at the World Expo in Brisbane. His work Forme del Mito(Forms of Myth) which was displayed at the Expo, was later purchased by Brisbane City Council for the City of Brisbane.
In 2014-15, Pomodoro finished one of his fundamental works – the Pietrarubbia Group, which was started in 1975. He the explains the idea behind this project:
Arnaldo Pomodoro: 'In the early 1970s, on the advice of some Pesaro friends, I visited Pietrarubbia, a small town in Montefeltro between the Marche and Romagna, which had been built, according to legend, in 980. At that time the village was almost completely abandoned. I realized that somehow it had to be born again: and how, if not through the participation of artists? I had to kick it off. So, I had the idea of dedicating one of my works to Pietrarubbia and I planned a series of sculptures as a cycle. The Pietrarubbia Group was born, a work 'in progress', a space defined by a series of sculptures – in fact, a space that became all sculpture – in which certain values are given meaning, certain historical values, in the sense that history is always the same… In short, I would like that anyone who sees this work could read within it the very spirit that comes from the Middle Ages: the gate that rises, the drawbridge, the foundation, the gate that opens and closes and can also be seen as a negative and positive book…'