Grande Tavola Della Memoria

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  • Provenance

    Maeda Collection, Tokyo (acquired directly from the artist)
    Cavaliero Fine Arts, New York (acquired from the above)

  • Exhibited

    Rome, Marlborough Galleria d'Arte; London, Malborough Fine Art Ltd.; New York, Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, Arnaldo Pomodoro, February - 13 November 1965, no. 4, pp. 8-9 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 9)
    Berkeley, University Art Museum; Fine Arts Gallery of San Diego; Portland Art Museum; Austin, University Art Museum, University of Texas; Hartford, Wadsworth Atheneum, Arnaldo Pomodoro: Sculpture 1960-1970, 12 May 1970 - 18 July 1971, no. 9, pl. H, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Darmstadt, Freiräume und Foyers des Staatstheaters, Arnaldo Pomodoro. Grossplastiken, 1972, no. 1, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Milan, Rotanda di Via Besana, Arnaldo Pomodoro, June - August 1974, no.30, pp. 30-31 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Arnaldo Pomodoro: Écritures, perforations d’objets, 16 September – 30 October 1976, pl. 1 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Cento, Auditorium San Lorenzo, Arnaldo Pomodoro: Omaggio ad Aroldo Bonzagni, 22 October - 7 November 1977 (another example exhibited)
    Ohio, Columbus Museum of Art; Florida, Jacksonville Art Museum; Worcester Art Museum; Little Rock, Arkansas Arts Center; Los Angeles, Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Arnaldo Pomodoro: A Quarter Century, 4 December 1983 - 19 October 1985, no. 7, pp. 6, 20-21 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Florence, Forte di Belvedere, Arnaldo Pomodoro. Luoghi Fondamentali, 7 July - 28 October 1984, nos. 40 and 41, pp. 20, 66-67 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Venice, Giardini di Castello, XLIII Esposizione, Biennale Internazionale d'Arte Venezia, 26 June - 25 September 1988, no. 3, pp. 57-58 (another example exhibited)
    Milan, Palazzo della Permanente; Florence, Museo Marino Marini; Mannheim, Stadtische Kunsthalle; Darmstadt, Kunsthalle, Scultura a Milano 1945-1990, 1 June 1990 – 23 June 1991, p. 109 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Hakone Open Air Museum; Toyama, The Museum of Modern Art; Kurashiki, Ohara Museum of Art; Nishinomiya City, Otani Memorial Art Museum, Arnaldo Pomodoro 1956-1993, 15 January - 4 December 1994, no. 4, p. 44 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Rimini, Museo della Citta, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Opere scelte per una costituenda Fondazione, 10 June - 30 July 1995, pp. 50-51, n.p. (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Terni, Palazzo della Bibliomediateca, Arnaldo Pomodoro, 3 December 1995 - 7 January 1996, pp. 16, 47 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 47)
    Finalborgo, Chiostri di Santa Caterina, Oratorio de’ Disciplinanti, Arnaldo Pomodoro, sculture e grafiche, 20 September - 10 November 1997, pp. 11, 22 (another example exhibited and illustrated, p. 22)
    Palma de Mallorca, Llonja, Casal Balaguer, Circulo de Bellas Artes, Arnaldo Pomodoro, 5 August - 30 September 1999, pp. 84-85 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Milan, Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, La Collezione permanente, 29 September - 9 March 2008, pp. 42-43 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Milan, Museo della Permanente, La permanente. Una storia Milanese, 17 July - 12 September 2015 (another example exhibited)
    Pisa, Museo delle Sinopie, Palazzo OPA, Piazza dei Miracoli, Arnaldo Pomodoro. Continuità e Innovazione, 27 June 2015 - 31 January 2016 (another example exhibited and illustrated)
    Milan, Palazzo Reale, Museo Poldi Pezzoli, La Triennale di Milano, Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Arnoldo Pomodoro, 30 November 2016 - 5 February 2017, p. 72 (another example exhibited and illustrated)

  • Literature

    Oscar Signorini, ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro’, D’Ars Agency, vol. 6, no. 3, 10 July - 10 October 1965, pp. 27-28 (another example illustrated)
    Carol Olten, ‘Subtle Sculptures for The Outdoors’, The San Diego Union, 6 September 1970 (another example illustrated)
    Henry J. Seldis, ‘Sense and Sensibility on the Exhibition Scene’, Los Angeles Times, 13 September 1970 (another example illustrated)
    ‘La parete di Pomodoro’, Oggi, 12 September 1972 (another example illustrated)
    Maestri contemporanei: Arnaldo Pomodoro, exh. cat., Milan, 1978, p. 6 (another example illustrated)
    Generazione anni venti. I Biennale Nazionale d’Arte Contemporanea, exh. cat., Rieti, 1980, p. 80 (another example illustrated)
    Sam Hunter, ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro’, Abbeville Press, 1982, p. 156 (another example illustrated, pp. 88, 156-159)
    ‘Italy’s Leading Contemporary Sculptor to Premier Works’, Columbus Museum of Art, December 1983 (another example illustrated)
    ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro Exhibit Thru April 1st at the Jacksonville Art Museum’, Happenings, 18 February 1984 (another example illustrated)
    Italo Mussa, ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro. Dalla monumentalità alle tavole della memoria’, Le Arti News, vol. 3, no. 2-3, March - June 1984, p. 53 (another example illustrated)
    Kathryn Cochran, ‘Pomodoro at the Fisher’, USC Trojan Family, University of Southern California, vol. 18, no. 2, October 1985, p. 16 (another example illustrated)
    Arnaldo Pomodoro, exh. cat., Palazzo dei Diamanti, Sale Benvenuto Tisi, Ferrara, 1987 (another example illustrated)
    Mauro Corradini, ‘Il Giornale di Bergamo – Oggi’, Week end d’arte, 31 July 1987, p. 3 (another example illustrated)
    Alessandro G. Amoroso, ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro’, L’Acciaio Inossidabile, vol. 54, no. 4, October-November-December 1987, p. 22 (another example illustrated)
    Arturo Carlo Quintavalle, ‘Sculpture Guerriere’, Panorama, vol. 26, no. 1155-1156, 12 June 1988, p. 8 (another example illustrated)
    Italo Mussa, Colpo d’ala di Arnaldo Pomodoro, Rome, 1988, p. 54
    Dino De Maio, ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro: il tormento della materia’, Progetto Ufficio, vol. 2, no. 3, May – June 1990, p. 51 (another example illustrated)
    Giorgio Di Genova, Storia dell’arte italiana del ‘900 - generazione anni venti, Bologna, 1991, pl. 199, p. 144 (another example illustrated)
    Dino De Maio, ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro: il tormento della materia’, A & C - Arte & Cornice, no.1, March 1993, p. 34 (another example illustrated)
    Sumiko Kaneko, ‘Geometrical Forms of Arnaldo Pomodoro’, Art Vision, vol. 21, no. 2, Summer 1993, p. 58 (another example illustrated)
    Sam Hunter, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, 1995, p. 54 (another example illustrated)
    Pierluigi Cerri, ‘La Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro’, Ottagono, vol. 32, no. 122, March-May 1997, p. 93 (another example illustrated)
    Arnaldo Pomodoro opera grafica, progetti visionari, sculture, exh. cat., ex Convento del Carmine, Marsala, 1997, p. 13 (another example illustrated)
    Pomodoro. Lo turbo e ‘l chiaro, exh. cat., Rettorato dell’Università, Castello di Masnago, piazza della Repubblica, Varese, 1998, pp. 21- 22 (another example illustrated, p. 21)
    Laura Berra and Bitti Leonetti, eds., Scritti critici per Arnaldo Pomodoro e opere dell’artista 1955-2000, Milan, 2000, pp. 316-317 (another example illustrated)
    Arnaldo Pomodoro. Pensare la pagina, exh. cat., Biblioteca di via Senato, Milan, 2001, pp. 10-11 (another example illustrated, p. 11)
    Arnaldo Pomodoro, exh. cat., Museo d’Arte Moderna, Lugano, 2004, pp. 28-29 (another exampled mentioned)
    Flaminio Gualdoni, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Catalogo ragionato delle scultura, Vol I, Milan, 2007, no. 142, pp. 102-103 (another exampled mentioned)
    Flaminio Gualdoni, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Catalogo ragionato delle scultura, Vol II, Milan, 2007, no. 142, p. 425 (another exampled mentioned)
    Aldo Nove, ‘Emblema della memoria plastica’, Nòva 24, Il Sole 24 Ore, 25 October 2007, p. 7 (another exampled mentioned)
    Aldo Nove, ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro: La tipografia universal Dialogo’, alfabeta2, vol. 1, no. 3, October 2010, p. 34 (another example illustrated)
    Images brisées des formes parfaites, exh. cat., Tornabuoni Art, Paris, 2011, pp. 33-34 (another exampled mentioned)
    Antonio Calbi, ed., Arnaldo Pomodoro. Il teatro scolpito, Milan, 2012, p. 584 (another example illustrated)
    Gino Fienga, ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro. Un viaggio nei segni dell’uomo’, Con-fine, vol. 7, no. 26, Winter 2012-2013, pp. 40-41, 45 (another example illustrated)
    Arnaldo Pomodoro. 4 progetti visionari, exh. cat., Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, Milan, 2016, p. 16 (another example illustrated)
    V. Agosti, ‘Sfere, dischi, colonne e torri 90 anni di spirito geometrico’, Libero Quotidiano, 30 November 2016, p. 25 (another example illustrated)
    F. Amé, ‘I bronzi di Milano’, Busines People, no. 12, December 2016, p. 101 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Grande Tavola della Memoria (1959-65) is a work that is colossal and multifaceted in both its material physicality and its metaphysical connotations. Brimming with dualities and complex references, this formative sculpture became a cornerstone for the subsequent spherical and columnar bodies of work that went on to define Arnaldo Pomodoro’s career. Stretching approximately two metres in height and over three metres in length, the expansive bronze panels juxtapose stillness and dynamism, interiority and exteriority, past and present, in an abstract and intricate representation of continuity and evolution. Grande Tavola della Memoria forms the apex of Pomodoro’s extensive and prolific career; monumental not only in its size but also its importance, the work is situated at the very core of the artist’s oeuvre, encompassing both the physical and philosophical practices that define his work. A testament to the importance of these structures in his oeuvre, another cast from the edition was included in the artist’s one room installation at the 1988 Venice Biennale, that example is still in the artist's collection and the other is in the collection of the municipality of Darmstadt.

    Pomodoro was an essential player in the post-war Italian art scene and one of the founding members of the Continuatà movement in Milan, who were intent upon forging a relationship between matter and sign. The notion of continuity is exemplified in the present work, which considers the evolutionary trajectory of humankind, specifically how this evolution is marked by the consistent presence of signs and symbols. Engraved with a complex myriad of glyphs that create intense cadences of light and shade that stand in stark contrast to the golden polished surface, Grande Tavola della Memoria embodies the artist’s lifelong fascination with the codes and markings that define the human condition: ‘[Pomodoro] said of The Table of Memory that he wanted to put there everything he ever knew. ‘Thoughts’ were still his goal, but he sought to turn each into an abstract mark occupying a place in a register of such marks…It is as if a secret language is rendered which communicates poetic myths and private symbols. Yet the language can never be deciphered. Rather, Table of Memory stands as a modern testament to the need for locking away both an individual’s and society’s secrets’ (Mark Rosenthal, ‘The Art of Arnaldo Pomodoro: Essence and Evolution’, Arnaldo Pomodoro, exh. cat., Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio, 1983, p. 6).

    Informed by his studies in engineering and architecture, Pomodoro was raised in the rural region of Montefeltro, and was inspired by the fissures and crags of the landscape of his upbringing, as well as by the remnants of the artistic legacy of Renaissance civilisation prevalent in his native country. Pomodoro has readily acknowledged the inspiration of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s bronze Gates of Paradise (1425-52) in Florence, and ‘just as the collection of themes on the Renaissance relief was meant to give a historical overview of events affecting all humanity, Pomodoro’s narratives were intended to be similarly all-encompassing’. ‘“You could say that I’m trying to imitate the Italian Renaissance,” he wrote. Comparison to Italian art history is indeed apt. The sense of the monumental, the elaboration of these of the largest dimension, the strong ties to civilization, the underlying commitment to humanistic, artistic, intellectual and philosophical values: these are qualities of the Italian past that Pomodoro willingly embraces’ (Mark Rosenthal, ‘The Art of Arnaldo Pomodoro: Essence and Evolution’, Arnaldo Pomodoro, exh. cat., Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio, 1983, p. 6).

    In his work Pomodoro pays homage to the advancements in technology that defined the period in which he was working: ‘I think in these sculptures, I sense discovery, that is, the drama of technological discovery and its powers’ (Arnaldo Pomodoro, quoted in conversation with Professor Sam Hunter, ‘An Interview with Arnaldo Pomodoro’, Arnaldo Pomdoro, exh. cat., Milan, 1974, n.p.). The artist’s experience as a jeweller, his intricate knowledge of metalwork and craftsmanship is at the forefront of Grande Tavola della Memoria. He was also influenced by the mysterious hieroglyphs of Paul Klee’s paintings: ‘when I was young’, Pomodoro writes, ‘the artist who most inspired me was Paul Klee and it’s perhaps from Klee that I learned the use of graphemes that constitute the stylistic trait with which I have come to be identified’ (Arnaldo Pomodoro, ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro, 1993: Statement’, Arnaldo Pomodoro, exh. cat., The Hakone Open-Air Museum, 1994, p. 8).

    Grande Tavola della Memoria is a work of such gravitas and overwhelming complexity that it bears the capacity to impress upon the viewer a momentous weight of philosophical and cultural significance. It embodies not only our history of artistic progression but also a representation of humankind that, despite its seemingly indecipherable abstraction, speaks directly to our innate understanding of the human condition. ‘For my work, then, I hope to strike a balance between an absolute artistic quality…and the sense of being in the midst of life, a part of its movement, and its hope for change’ (Arnaldo Pomodoro, quoted in conversation with Sam Hunter, ‘An Interview with Arnaldo Pomodoro by Professor Sam Hunter, Princeton University’, Arnaldo Pomdoro, exh. cat., Milan, 1974, n.p.).


Property of a Distinguished Collector

Grande Tavola Della Memoria

inscribed with the artist's name and number 'Arnaldo Pomodoro, p.a.' lower right of right panel
223 x 320.6 x 64 cm (87 3/4 x 126 1/4 x 25 1/4 in.)
Executed in 1959-65, this work is the artist's proof from an edition of 2 plus 1 artist's proof.

£400,000 - 600,000 ‡ ♠

Contact Specialist
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20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 5 October 2018