Not on display
- Gio Pomodoro 1930–2002
- Original title
- Object: 2896 × 2095 × 635 mm
- Purchased 1964
Giò Pomodoro born 1930
Bronze, 114 x 82 1/2 x 25 (290 x 209.5 x 63.5) on a wooden base
Purchased from the artist through the Marlborough Galleria d'Arte, Rome (Grant-in-Aid) 1964
Exh: Giò Pomodoro, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, February-March 1963 (works not numbered, repr.); Giò Pomodoro, Marlborough Galleria d'Arte, Rome, January-February 1964 (1, repr.); Painting and Sculpture of a Decade 1954-64, Tate Gallery, April-June 1964 (329, repr.)
The artist has written of this work (which was dated 1960 in the catalogues of his exhibitions in Brussels and Rome, and 1962 when shown in the Gulbenkian exhibition at the Tate):
'"One" dates from 1959 (when the plaster was made) and is one of my first "monumental" works, produced at a particularly happy period.
'It is isolated from my other works with the exception of the one called "Enigma".
'Not to provide the basis for a possible "symbolism", a term inappropriate to this type of work, but simply to explain, as far as one can in words, the content of this piece, I can say that the wider idea behind it was to make a "religious" sculpture. By this I mean "religious" to be understood only as the need for an affirmation of the values of "reality", and not in the sense of a metaphysical escape. It is in fact a homage to woman. The central axis of "One" is a spinal cord in reverse, in the negative, focal and vertical, but sunk in a vast undulating, tense plane.
'I have recently returned to the idea of "One" reconsidering certain postures and executing a series of works called "Female Squares"' (letter of 26 June 1965).
He subsequently added that this bronze was cast at the Fonderia Valcamonica in Milan about 1960 and is the only bronze made of this work. There were no models in plaster or preparatory studies. The original plaster from which the wax was made for casting in bronze has been destroyed. He created the plaster himself by casting a surface of cotton cloth held in tension with wires and a rigid wooden framework. This sculpture was one of the first 'surfaces in tension' made by him from late 1958, early 1959, immediately after surmounting the 'manner' or 'experience' of the 'Signs' (letter of 24 January 1977).
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.618-9, reproduced p.618