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Giò Pomodoro (Orciano di Pesaro 1930 - Milan 2002)

Born in 1930 in Orciano di Pesaro, Pomodoro was awarded a diploma by the Pesaro Technical School for Surveyors in 1951, but would never practice the profession. He debuted at the Fiamma Vigo Gallery in Florence with some “automatic writings” on paper and canvas. In 1954 he and his brother Arnaldo moved to Milan, where they created jewellery, and before long they were in contact with artists in avant-garde circles. The next year found Giò already very busy with shows at the Naviglio Gallery in Milan, the Cavallino Gallery in Venice and the Obelisco Gallery in Rome. In 1956 he and Arnaldo were both invited to participate in the Venice Biennale, where Giò showed works in silver relief dedicated to Ezra Pound’s Pisan Cantos. In Venice, Pomodoro was struck by Pollock’s works, which were also shown in the Biennale. In those years he explored the method for obtaining negative forms and the reaction techniques of various materials.
In 1957 Pomodoro took part in the Nuclear Art show at the San Fedele Gallery in Milan. His signic investigations created an affinity with Tancredi, Novelli, Turcato and Dorazio, with whom he organized the “Continuity” group shows.
A turning-point came in 1958, when Pomodoro produced Ritrovamento, a wall-table four metres wide bearing an image, partly in relief, partly imprinted, that evokes traces of a buried city or the fossil of a prehistoric animal. “The laying of the ‘signs’ on the bed of clay”, the artist himself observed, “is organized more densely in the directions of the warp and woof, complicated by other signs that cut diagonally across the horizontal and vertical movements. The organization of the signs is no longer organic and vegetal, but more mental and colder.” In 1959, in Paris, he showed the first “surfaces in tension”, in which full forms and empty spaces alternate in a continuous flux. In 1964 he began the studies on Strutture portanti, which develop the idea of the spiral as the source of tension. From the 1960s onwards, Pomodoro created his cycles out of stone and marble, cycles such as Archi, Sole produttore and Contatti antagonisti. Giò Pomodoro died in Milan in 2002.

Augusta Monferini