Tornabuoni Art is to present the first exhibition of Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro to take place in London in over 50 years. From the artist’s early experiments with sign and language, his personal interpretation of Lucio Fontana’s Spatialism, to his most recent work, this exhibition retraces the ever-evolving artistic career of a master of modern bronze sculpture.
Born in Montefeltro in 1926, Arnaldo Pomodoro discovered early on in his career a desire to play with signs and symbols to create seemingly mysterious narratives, elaborating his own alphabet and artistic language. The exhibition begins with the Grande Tavola dei Segni from 1960, a low relief with which Pomodoro explores what he describes as “a secret language, full of poetic myths and personal symbolism”. Citing the influence of Paul Klee, Pomodoro thus embarked on a path of semiotic research that has followed him throughout his career until the realisation of the Continuum series from 2010, also on show at the gallery.
Another great influence on the work of Arnaldo Pomodoro was Lucio Fontana. The two artists met when Pomodoro moved to Milan in 1954 and Pomodoro became increasingly interested in the research led by the founder of Spatialism. Geometric shapes then became the focal point of Pomodoro’s practice – spheres, columns, pyramids – which reflect and deform light, and their surroundings, on their polished bronze surface, while retaining mythical references to magic and to ancient civilisations. With Pomodoro, as for Fontana, the perfect surface of an artwork had to be broken to reveal the possibilities beyond it. In Sfera, 2013 the surface of the sculpture is breeched by “a delirious succession of fragments searching for order” (Gulio Carlo Argan), revealing the core – or as Pomodoro calls it, the nucleus – of the solid. The sculpture becomes an object that seems worked from the inside out, rather than from its surface.
It is Pomodoro’s ability to continually renew himself that most fascinates Bruno Corà, President of the Fondazione Burri di Città di Castello and author of the introductory text to the hardback monograph especially published by Forma Edizioni, Florence, to accompany the exhibition. Through his varied series, as exhibited here, and public monuments on show around the world from Rome, Paris, Copenhagen to New York and Tehran, Arnaldo Pomodoro has succeeded in always remaining relevant and contemporary.
“After the success of the ground-breaking retrospective of Arnaldo Pomodoro in our Paris gallery in 2009, we couldn’t wait to bring these sculptures to London”, says gallery director Ursula Casamonti. “In this ambitious sculptural exhibition we wanted to show a different side of Spatialist research to the work that was presented within our inaugural Lucio Fontana retrospective.”
ARNALDO POMODORO -10 FEBRUARY – 16 APRIL 2016 Tornabuoni Art
46 Albemarle Street W1S 4JN, London