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Arnaldo Pomodoro (Morciano di Romagna 1926)

Arnaldo Pomodoro was born in Morciano di Romagna in 1926. He studied architecture and, moving to Milan, made his artistic debut in jewellery together with his younger brother Giò. Their creations, in gold and silver, cast in the hollow of a cuttlebone, look back to Barbarian goldsmithery and suggest the bizarre and fantastic forms of Mirko. The plotting of the signs, inspired by Klee’s painting, stirred the curiosity of Lucio Fontana, who invited Arnaldo and Giò to the Triennale in 1954. The two brothers showed together as decorators at the 28th Venice Biennale in 1956. Their activity as sculptors was launched with their adherence to the Informal movement, but from that moment on their paths began to diverge. Arnaldo dedicated himself to relief, created imprints, forms that seem to emerge from an indistinct material. In 1957 he exhibited in the Nuclear Art show with the sculpture Orizzonte, a germination of organic forms. Il Muro is a wall on which are assembled materials of different colour and various consistency: lead, tin, cement. In the same year he signed the Nuclear Manifesto: “We accept Yves Klein’s ‘monocrome propositions’ as the last possible forms of stylization, after which only the tabula rasa remains.”<BR>Between 1957 and 1958 Pomodoro’s Informal art became signic. At the Civil Engineering Office in Imperia, he built a monumental bronze panel, La Tavola dei segni, on which cuneiform reminiscent of ancient Semitic tables appears. The writing is distinct but indecipherable and its language becomes an organic system of signs.

In 1961-62 Pomodoro organized the shows of the “Continuity” group that marked his break with Informalism. From then on, invitations, shows and successes followed in swift succession, his fame spreading in Italy and beyond. In 1963 Ballo wrote: “His best works are large in scale as well as conception. The reason is evident: taking the rhythmic repetition of the plastic sign to the extreme horizontally and vertically, Arnaldo Pomodoro has aimed at the developments of a ‘continuity’ without an organic centre. The more ample spatial surfaces, constructed with the same repeated rhythm, better convey the ‘pieces of infinity’ in sculptures that cut fragments of an unbounded totality.”

Augusta Monferini