(Morciano di Romagna, 1926)
Arnaldo Pomodoro was born in 1926 in Morciano di Romagna, Italy. In his twenties, he participated in the post–World War II reconstruction planning for public buildings at the Department of Civil Engineering in Pesaro, where he spent his childhood. While studying at the Pesaro Art Academy, Pomodoro focused on stage design, learning goldsmithery at workshops on the side.
In the 1950s, Pomodoro used basic hand tools to create a series of flat reliefs, a process he practiced for architectural design. These reliefs were influenced by and dedicated to the simple lines found in the drawings of Swiss–German artist Paul Klee. Pomodoro isolated sections of drawing and transformed the flat marks into raised textures. By the beginning of the next decade, he incorporated the relief–making process into the much larger, three–dimensional works for which he is now internationally known. Later in 1960s, he developed a collaboration with the Marlborough Gallery in New York. In 1963, Pomodoro received the International Prize for Sculpture at the VII São Paulo Biennale and also the National Prize for Sculpture at the XXXII Venice Biennale in 1964.In 1966, he became an artist in residence at Stanford University, and then at UC Berkeley and Mills College. The following year he created the Sfera grande for the Italian Pavilion at the Montreal Expo. This sculpture is now located in front of the Farnesina Palace in Rome. That year Pomodoro won the International Prize for Sculpture from the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh.
Pomodoro’s sculptures reveal a cautious attitude towards technological progress. The forms of his pieces often borrow from the smooth designs of mid–20th century technology, yet we can always find along the bronze surfaces blatant disruptions of intense texture, often altered with a different color to create a disconnect within the work. Today, Pomodoro lives and works in Milan.