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Arnaldo Pomodoro, Triade, 1979 – Horti dell'Almo Collegio Borromeo, Pavia, 2022 (Foto Federico Giani)

Arnaldo Pomodoro
, 1979

fiberglass, 15 × ø 1.5 m each element (3 columns)

These three columns - says Arnaldo Pomodoro - are among the largest I have made: I thought of them first and foremost as signals, while they refer to the theme of the "column" present in my work since 1960 as a reflection on continuous research, on the exploration of space and of the cosmos. The "column", together with the sphere, the cube, the pyramid, is a fundamental shape for my research on geometric solids. The "column" is not entirely comparable to a cylinder, it does not correspond solely to an elementary structure, but on the contrary constitutes a motif rich in memories. It is a cornerstone of classicism, in its architectural meaning as well as in being a place where stories take place, as evidenced by the Egyptian obelisks and Roman columns. A relationship is thus established between the surface and the corrosive sign with which I intervene, breaking the form and re-proposing it with allusive and symbolic meanings that range from the memory of ancient civilizations in ruins to disturbing postmodern structures. The “column” is vertical like a person: human civilization and its achievements were celebrated in it. It could also be said that my columns express the aspiration for freedom and democracy in opposition to all antiquated forms of power structures.

The white fiberglass specimens, models of the sculpture used for casting and now part of the Foundation's collection, were exhibited for the first time in 1984 at the Forte di Belvedere in Florence. Subsequently granted as a deposit to the Municipality of Pavia and placed in Piazza Milano from 1985 to 2002, the fiberglass Triade was then installed in Lugano for the personal exhibition which took place in the spring of 2004. Finally it was placed in Turin, on the occasion of the Winter Olympics, on the Maroncelli roundabout where it remained until November 2010.