Arnaldo Pomodoro (Italian, born 1926) Rotante a otto fori 1967
Lot 32AR
Arnaldo Pomodoro
(Italian, born 1926)
Rotante a otto fori
Sold for £ 93,750 (US$ 117,767) inc. premium

Lot Details
Arnaldo Pomodoro (Italian, born 1926)
Rotante a otto fori

signed, titled, dated 67 and numbered 2/2 to the base
bronze on a Perspex base

Diameter: 40 cm.
15 3/4 in.

Overall: 43 by 40 by 41.5 cm.
16 15/16 by 15 3/4 by 16 5/16 in.

This work is number 2 from an edition of 2 plus 1 artist's proof.


  • This work is registered in the Studio Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, under no. AP 277.

    Marlborough Galleria d'Arte, Rome
    Acquired directly from the above by the present owner

    London, Marlborough Fine Art (London) Ltd, Arnaldo Pomodoro, 1968, no. 3, another example illustrated in colour (installation view)
    Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-Van Beuningen, Arnaldo Pomodoro, 1969, no. 9, pp. 12-13, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view) and p. 29, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Cologne, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Arnaldo Pomodoro: Werke 1959-1969, 1969
    Hanover, Kunstverein; Würzburg, Städtische Galerie; Kiel, Stadtmuseum Warleberger Hof and Cologne, Italienisches Kulturinstitut, Moderne Italienische Bildhauer, 1970, p. 210, no. 72, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Florence, Galleria La Gradiva, Scultori Italiani Contemporanei, 1970, p. 155, no. 2, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Milan, Palazzo Reale, Scultori: Italiani Contemporanei, 1971, n.p., another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Darmstadt, Staatstheater, Arnaldo Pomodoro: Großplastiken, 1972, n.p., no. 8, another example illustrated three times in black and white (installation views)
    Monaco, Galerie Stangl, Arnaldo Pomodoro '72, 1972
    Genoa, Galleria Fontane Marose, Arnaldo Pomodoro: insieme di lastre, 1973

    Toni del Renzio, 'Arnaldo Pomodoro: Invention of a Sculptural Style' in: Art International - Special Number: The 34th Venice Biennale, vol. XII/6, Summer 1968, p. 96, another example illustrated twice in black and white (installation views)
    Ton Frenken, 'De bronzen bollen van de Italiaan Arnoldo Pomodoro' in: Eindhovens Dagblad, No. 124, 24 May 1969, p. 9, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Sonja Luyken, 'Außenwelt als Spiegel der inneren Form' in: Weser-Kurier, 6 August 1969, p. 16, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Erich Pfeiffer-Belli, 'Goldener Glanz' in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 24 May 1972, p. 9, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Sam Hunter Et al., Libro per le Sculture di Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan 1974, p. 35, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view) and p. 37, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Alberto Pivi Ed., Maestri Contemporanei: Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan 1978, pp. 12-13, another example illustrated in colour (installation view)
    Giorgio di Genova, Generazione anni Venti, Rieti 1981, p. 172, no. 223, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Gunnar Bråhammar and Kristina Garmer, Moderna Mastare, Malmö 1981, p. 366, another example illustrated in colour (installation view)
    Guido Balla, 'Tensioni Segrete' in: Colpo d'ala di Arnaldo Pomodoro, Rome 1988, pp. 40-41, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Giorgio di Genova, Storia dell'arte Italiana del '900 per generazioni: Generazione anni Venti, Bologna 1991, p. 331, no. 483, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)
    Flaminio Gualdoni, Arnaldo Pomodoro: Catalogo ragionato della scultura, Tomo II, Milan 2007, p. 538, no. 442, another example illustrated in black and white
    Angela Vettese, Ugo Mulas - fotografia - Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan 2008, p. 87, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view) and pp. 98-99, another example illustrated in black and white (installation view)

    Executed in 1967, Rotante a otto fori belongs to Arnaldo Pomodoro's most recognizable and sought-after spherical sculptures. Having developed the theme of discs and orbicular sculptures from the 1960's onwards, the present work is one of the earliest works of such clean and clearly cut shape and yet its radiant surface conceals the meaning of the form, its function and symbolism that transcends the physical structure.

    Together with Lucio Fontana, Arnaldo Pomodoro was at the forefront of the Post-War movement known as Spatialism. Closely following the technological innovations seeking to merge arts and science at a time where man devised new means of exploring the earth and conquering space. Pomodoro's shapes evoke cosmic patterns, transformed into new constellations in their own right. His art heralds the endless opportunities of a powerful future, while also pushing the limits of its own medium. Deeply marked by the achievements of Constantin Brancusi, whose works he studied during his first trip to New York at the Museum of Modern Art in 1959, Arnaldo Pomodoro sought to challenge the elegance of Brancusi's abstraction and reduction. Deeming it untimely at an age of disruptive technology and looming socio-political distress, he sought to reveal the life inside the solid structure, disclosing the enigmatic forces beneath the perfectly even form and thereby created an artistic universe that established him as one of the unrivalled masters of Post-War sculpture.

    Where the sculptures known as Sfera often seem chaotic and ruptured inside, the Rotante a otto fori is an object carved with utter precision and perfection. It is an arresting thought to imagine this object in full rotation, being spun at high speed and allowing the holes to create an enthralling optical effect, almost dissecting the work into five floating parts. With its meticulously placed eight perforations, these punctures look as if they were an item of highest technological refinement. Yet, it seems almost unnatural, that the viewer would not immediately recognize the sculpture's purpose, which is the moment the item unfolds its actual philosophical power and makes us question our preconceived empirical understandings.

    As essential as the relation between the inside and the outside of the sculpture itself, there is a crucial connection between the object and its location. With its holes and the incisions cutting through vertically, the present work captures daylight and creates as a result mesmerizing shadows. With a background as a student of architecture, Pomodoro cared deeply about the way a sculpture transformed the space around it. Not only does the ever-changing golden brilliance of the surface reflect onto the environment, it also mirrors it back to the viewer. As the sculpture itself marks an opposition of light and shadow, a similar tension expands as we look through the work and allows it to shape our perspectives onto the world, as beautifully captured in the iconic photograph by Ugo Mulas.

    The impact of Arnaldo Pomodoro's work can be observed in every dimension, exemplified best by the present work. Appearing on the market for the very first time, this exceptional sculpture is of domestic scale yet conveys a similar power as his more monumental works executed for public spaces. Alongside Oscar Niemeyer futuristic designs in Milan, Pomodoro's works have transformed public urban spaces including the Amalienborg Palace, Copenhagen, The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington and the United Nations headquarters in New York.
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  1. Amy Thompson
    Specialist - Contemporary Art
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
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