Masterworks  21 November 2017

Emptiness is the space of sculpture. Space/emptiness surrounds everything and we cannot do without it.

Giò Pomodoro

Geometry and Disruption

The Jewelry of Giò and Arnaldo Pomodoro

Talented artists, brothers Giò and Arnaldo Pomodoro created sculptural works that dealt with the interplay between space and form. Both of the Pomodoro brothers were classically trained as goldsmiths, yet approached metalworking differently. Drawing on animate forms, Giò would often employ cuttlefish bones to craft totemic arrangements in his sculptures and jewelry. This ancient method of sculptural casting involves hollowing out the bones of a cuttlefish. Giò was also inspired by the landscape of Italy, stating that “a sculptor must have deep roots with his country.” Giò's work, whether intimately scaled or monumental, expresses a continuity. He stated numerous times: “Each of my works is tied to the previous and following one, even if this does not always happen in a linear route.”

In contrast to Giò, Arnaldo’s jewelry reflects his interest in the mechanical and creative disruption. Arnaldo's unique expressions appear at the onset as geometric shapes, yet on closer inspection one can see the continuous process of destruction and regeneration of the form. In the late 1950s, Arnaldo made his first trip to the United States and encountered the work of Constantin Brancusi at the Museum of Modern Art, New York which would prove to be a formative in the development of his artistic expression. Reflecting on the experience, Arnaldo stated, that he "experienced a deep wish to destroy their perfection. I imagined them in my mind's eye full of worm holes and corrosion, and then the idea came to me of setting all of my particular signs in the interior of these geometric solids, turning the abstract image of Brancusi inside out”. His expressions in jewelry of this early period demonstrate the interplay of geometry and disruption on a more intimate scale. These elaborate textural impressions were truly the artist’s own unique inventions.

A rendering of Lot 20 by the artist


A rendering of Lot 19 by the artist
A rendering of Lot 21 by the artist

Beauty causes pain when it is taken away from us.

Giò Pomodoro

Arnaldo Pomodoro b. 1926

Arnaldo was born in 1926 in Morciano, Emilia Romagna, Italy, and he first worked as a restorer on public buildings. Giò was born in 1930 in Orciano di Pesaro, Italy, and he initially trained to become a land surveyor. They both trained in goldsmithing, but Arnaldo left the craft to work as a set designer before entering the world of sculpture. This experience introduced Arnaldo to concepts of “ideology, myth and form,” leading to an emotional sense of baroque drama in his sculptures. Arnaldo honed his craft in metalwork exclusively, while Giò explored multiple mediums including fiberglass, colored marbles, clay, and wood in his sculptures. In 1956, Giò was invited to exhibit at the Venice Biennale, and in 1959 his work was on display at Kassel in Germany. Three years after Giò, Arnaldo was invited to exhibit at the Venice Biennale in 1962. Moving to the United States in 1966, Arnaldo became a professor of sculpture, teaching first at Stanford University and later at University of California, Berkeley. The work of both brothers is held in the permanent collections of museums across the world. Giò’s sculptural creations are on view at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Museo d’Arte Moderna in Mexico. Arnaldo’s works are on display at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and Princeton University Art Gallery, among many others.

Auction Results Arnaldo Pomodoro

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