Arnaldo Pomodoro, Italian artist, photo credits - Tom Claeren works city

Arnaldo Pomodoro

Italy 1926


Arnaldo Pomodoro
Arnaldo Pomodoro
July 28, 2013
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Arnaldo Pomodoro’s monumental sculptures are strange and frightening, yet beautiful. The Italian sculptor most famous for his spheres made in bronze is showing us, through his works, a structure of the life itself. The outer smoothness of his sculptures combined with the inner complicated design that looks like a clockwork machinery remind us of the intricate designs of nature and the infinite complexity of life. Pomodoro has been creating his large-scale sculptures for more than three decades and  their beauty  together with universal meaning has been accepted worldwide. His spheres, arches and disks are embellishing and completing locations in various European, American and Australian cities.

Pomodoro’s sculptures are paying homage to the intricate complexity of life.

Arnaldo Pomodoro, Sphere within a Sphere (United Nations, NYC), 1996 - image via policy privacy foundation
Arnaldo Pomodoro, Sphere within a Sphere (United Nations, NYC), 1996 – image via

Jewelry Design and Architecture

Pomodoro was born in the mid-20s in Morciano, Italy and showed interest in crafts and design quite early. However, he wasn’t directly interested in sculpture from the very beginning – in the 40s, he was working as a consultant for the restoration of public buildings  and at the same time, he was studying stage design. His curious mind was also interested in jewelry design, so he joined a goldsmith workshop and learned more about handling fine metals and decorative designs. In the 50s, he  moved to Milan, which was an important step in his career, as he started to meet a circle of the local artists there and his interest in sculpture grew stronger. His earliest work was shown at the Galleria del Naviglio in Milan in the mid-50s. Already in the late 60s, he started gaining the international reputation and traveled to galleries around Europe, United States and Brazil to exhibit his work. He even spent some time  at famous Stanford University in California, as a visiting professor. However, it wasn’t until the mid-70s that Pomodoro became renown for his unique sculptures based on geometric shapes, such as spheres, disks, pyramids or cubes, which were designed to suggest natural processes of destruction, transformation and revival.

Pomodoro became renown for his unique sculptures based on geometric shapes.

Arnaldo Pomodoro -The Tivoli Arch, 2007 - image via
Arnaldo Pomodoro – The Tivoli Arch, 2007 – image via

Motif of Internal Tension

The most famous Pomodoro’s work is called Sphere within a Sphere, also known as Sfera con Sfera in his native Italian language. It is a monumental series of sculptures featuring a large bronze sphere with seemingly damaged surface and complicated inner design consisting of another smaller, broken sphere inside. The artist created this sphere for the Vatican Church in the 60s, but due to its international popularity, Pomodoro was commissioned to build the same sculpture  for important institutions and organizations worldwide. At the moment,  Sphere within a Sphere is located at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, Trinity College in Dublin, The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the Columbus Museum of Art, Tel Aviv University in Israel and a couple of other locations.

Since the original design was created for the Vatican Church, the idea behind it is related to Christianity. Pomodoro claims that the outer sphere is the metaphor for Christianity while the inner sphere represents the Earth and people, suggesting that our world is contained within the bigger, sacred world of Catholicism. The layers of the inner sphere which contain gears are the symbol of intricacy and subtlety of our world. Pomodoro explained the motif of spheres in one of his interviews: A sphere is a marvelous object, from the world of magic and wizards. It reflects everything around it and it can easily get transformed or become invisible, leaving only its interior, tormented and corroded, full of teeth. Pomodoro feels puzzled by the perfect form of sphere and at the same time provoked to break its pristine roundness and cause the internal conflict, tension which is threatening to rip apart the entire form.

Pomodoro feels puzzled by the perfect form of sphere and provoked to break its pristine roundness.

Arnaldo Pomodoro, Sphere within a Sphere (Museum of Vatican), 1990 - image via
Arnaldo Pomodoro, Sphere within a Sphere (Museum of Vatican), 1990 – image via

Sculptures around the Globe

In addition to Sphere within a Sphere, Pomodoro designed  many other pieces which found their home around the globe. For example, he created a large fiberglass crucifix for the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Wisconsin. The sculpture is famous for its enormous, fourteen foot in diameter crown of thorns above the head of the Christ’s figure. In Copenhagen, Denmark in 1983 he designed a decorative pillar with a sphere on its top, called Solar Form, for the Amaliehaven park close to Amalienborg Palace. Also in 1983, he designed another geometric piece, this time a pyramid, named Forms of Myth for Brisbane’s World Expo, which was bought by the City of Brisbane. Another important Pomodoro’s work featuring pyramidal shape called Wing Beat: Homage to Boccioni was built in 1984 in Los Angeles, as a part of the large fountain. In 1999, the artist opened Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro in Milan. This institution is performing several functions – it serves as an archive for the sculptor’s work but it is also an exhibition space since 2005, opened for the pieces of eminent Italian and international artists.

In addition to Sphere within a Sphere, Pomodoro designed many other pieces which found their home around the globe.

Arnaldo Pomodoro -The Pietrarubbia Group, 1976 - image via policy privacy foundation exhibitions
Arnaldo Pomodoro – The Pietrarubbia Group, 1976 – image via

Enriching the Space

The importance of Pomodoro’s work lies in his careful observation and understanding of the relationship between the sculpture and its surrounding space. He achieved his main goal to transform already existing spaces by enriching them with his sculptures, which bring in additional layers of meaning to urban areas. The artist is exploring the shape of our world and even our mind through his sculptures which contain both polished glaze and signs of destruction. These opposing conditions underline the everlasting changes we’re exposed to and the beauty of our world which is always swinging back and forth between unity and decay.

Arnaldo Pomodoro lives and works in Milan, Italy.
Featured image: Pomodoro’s portrait – photo credit Tom Claeren
All images used for illustrative purpose only.

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2016Arnaldo PomodoroTornabuoni Art Gallery, LondonnnSolo
2015Arnaldo Pomodoro. Rive dei MariVilla Fiorentino, Piazze, SorrentonnSolo
2015Arnaldo Pomodoro. Continuità e InnovazioneMuseo delle Sinopie, Palazzo OPA, Piazza dei Miracoli, PisannSolo
2015L’invisibile si mostra - quando la tecnologia incontra l’arte.Museo Nazionale della scienza e della tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, sala Colonne, MilanSolo
2015L’altro Novecento della sculturaStudio d’Arte del Lauro, MilannnGroup
2015Precious: da Picasso a Jeff KoonsVitraria Glass + A Museum, Palazzo Nani Mocenigo, VenicennnGroup
2015Vola alta, parolaCa’ Pesaro Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna, VenicennGroup
2015The Wolf and the Tiger. Italian sculpture and KoreanMuseo della Permanente, MilannnGroup
2015Rappresentare il mondoReggia di Venaria, Venaria RealennGroup
2014Arnaldo Pomodoro nei castelli di Federico IICastello Svevo di Bari, Castel del Monte di Andria, Castello di TraninnSolo
2014Arnaldo Pomodoro. Spazi scenici e altre architettureCAOS - Centro Arti Opificio Siri, TerninnSolo
2014Parcours Arnaldo PomodoroBarclays, MonaconnSolo
2014L’età dell’oro della scultura italianaSerrone della Reggia di Monza, MonzannnGroup
2014Ritratti di città. Urban sceneriesVilla Olmo, ComoGroup
2014Le mythe CléopâtrePinacothèque de Paris, ParisnnGroup
2014MaTe in ItalyLa Triennale di Milano, MilanGroup
2013Una scrittura sconcertanteFondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, MilanSolo
2013Arnaldo Pomodoro. Pensare la pagina Palazzo Ducale, GenovannSolo
20131966-1976 Milano e gli anni della grande speranzaUniversità Bocconi, MilanGroup
2013Colla, Pinna, PomodoroRonchini Gallery, LondonGroup
2012Arnaldo Pomodoro. Sculture dal 1963 al 2011Imago Art Gallery, LuganonnSolo
2012Arnaldo Pomodoro. Il teatro scolpitoPalazzo Reale, TorinoSolo
2012Addio anni 70. Arte a Milano 1969-1980Palazzo Reale, MilanGroup
2012Arte europea 1949-1979. Collezione Peggy GuggenheimPalazzo Venier dei Leoni, VeniceGroup
2011Arnaldo PomodoroTornabuoni Art, ParisnnSolo
2011Arnaldo Pomodoro. ContinuumMarlborough Chelsea, New YorkSolo
2011Arnaldo PomodoroFlora Bigai Arte Contemporanea, PietrasantaSolo
2011Fernanda Pivano. Viaggi Cose PersoneGalleria Gruppo Credito Valtellinese, Refettorio delle Stelline, MilanGroup
2011Gli irripetibili anni '60. Un dialogo tra Milano e RomaFondazione Roma Museo, RomeGroup
2011Lo splendore della Verità - La bellezza della CaritàAula Paolo VI, Vatican CityGroup
2010Arnaldo Pomodoro. ContinuumGalleria d’arte L’Incontro, ChiarinnSolo
2010Arnaldo Pomodoro & Edoardo Villa: A sculptural dialogueNirox Sculpture Park, JohannesburgnnnGroup
2010Scultura internazionale a Racconigi. Presente ed esperienza del passatoCastello di Racconigi, RacconiginnGroup
2009Arnaldo Pomodoro. Sculture 1960-2007Galleria 20ArtSpace, RomeSolo
2009Costanti del classico nell'arte del XX e XXI secoloFondazione Puglisi Cosentino, CataniannGroup
2009Sicilia 1968/2008. Lo spirito del tempoPalazzo Riso, PalermoGroup
2008Arnaldo PomodoroBorgo di Orta San Giulio e Isola di San GiulioSolo
2008Un libro in mascheraFondazione Biblioteca di Via Senato, MilannnGroup
2008Arte Fiera - Fiera internazionale d'arte contemporaneaCortile di Palazzo d'Accursio, BolognannGroup
2007Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro. La Collezione permanenteFondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, MilannnnGroup
2007La raccolta d'arte Esso 1949-1983Galleria nazionale d'arte moderna, RomeGroup
2007Arnaldo PomodoronIl Melograno, Monopoli, Aeroporti di Bari e BrindisiGroup
2006Arnaldo Pomodoro. Opere 1960-2005Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia e Palazzo dei Principi, CorreggioSolo
2006Arnaldo PomodoroPalazzo Crepadona, BellunonnnSolo
2006Arnaldo Pomodoro. ScultureGalleria d'arte L'Incontro, ChiarinnSolo
2006Exposition de GroupMarlborough Monaco, Monte-CarlonnGroup
2006Sculture en plein airLimone Piemonte, StupiniginnnGroup
2006MilanomadeindesignMilk Gallery, New YorkGroup
2005Arnaldo Pomodoro. Sculture sulle mura di PaestumTorre 27, cinta muraria, zona archeologica PaestumSolo
2005Arnaldo Pomodoro. Frammenti 2RC Edizioni d'Arte, RomeSolo
2005Arnaldo PomodoroVenice Design Art Gallery, VeniceSolo
2005L'arte del lavoro, il lavoro dell'arteCentro Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, La SpeziannGroup
2005Arte e progetto. Il pensiero sull'abitare nel sistema delle artiCLAC - Galleria del Design e dell'Arredamento, CantùnnGroup
2004Arnaldo Pomodoro. Sfera n. 1 'festivalfilosofia sul mondo'Palazzo dei Musei, ModenannSolo
2004Arnaldo Pomodoro. La gioia delle rose e del cieloColophonarte, BellunonnSolo
2004Arnaldo Pomodoro. 'Novecento', una scultura per RomaSala Santa Rita, RomeGroup
2004Arnaldo Pomodoro. SculpturesMarlborough Monaco, Monte Carlo.Group
2004Arti&Architettura 1900-2000Palazzo Ducale, GenoannGroup
2004Come l'ombraArchivio Centrale dello Stato, RomennGroup
2003Arnaldo Pomodoro. I progetti scenici 1972-2002Riva Centre, CantùSolo
2003Etre ou ne pas être... Les bijoux de plus grandsDomaine du Château de Seneffe, SeneffeGroup
2002Arnaldo Pomodoro dans les Jardins du Palais Royal. Sculptures 1962-2000Jardins du Palais Royal, ParisnnSolo
2001Arnaldo Pomodoro. Progetti visionari, scrittura su carta, sculturePalazzo degli Scalzi, SassoferratonnSolo
2001Arnaldo Pomodoro. Le opere e i libriBiblioteca di Via Senato, MilanSolo
2001Arnaldo Pomodoro. Sculptures 1990-2000Marlborough Monaco, Monte CarloSolo
2001Immaginazione aurea. Artisti orafi e orafi artisti in Italia nel secondo NovecentoMole Vanvitelliana, AnconannGroup
2000Small WorksMarlborough Gallery, New YorkSolo
2000Architectural ProjectsMarlborough Chelsea, New YorkSolo
2000Novecento Arte e Storia in ItaliaScuderie del Quirinale, RomeGroup
2000Il '900 scolpito da Rodin a PicassoMuseo del Corso, RomennGroup
1999Arnaldo PomodoroIstituto Italiano di Cultura, Los AngelesSolo
1999Badia a Coltibuono, Gaiole in ChiantinnVerso l'immateriale - Towards the immaterialGroup
1998La Porta dei Re. Il progetto di Arnaldo Pomodoro per il portale del Duomo di CefalùPalazzo Comitini, PalermoSolo
1997Arnaldo Pomodoro-Luoghi VisionariGalleria Civica d'Arte Contemporanea di Trento, Palazzo Geremia, TrentoSolo
1997Scultura marchigiana dal dopoguerra ai nostri giorni (1945-1998)Mole Vanvitelliana, AnconannnGroup
1996A quattro mani, Arnaldo Pomodoro e Enzo Cucchi2RC Edizioni d'Arte, RomeSolo
1995Arnaldo Pomodoro a CastellamonteXXXV Mostra della Ceramica, Rotonda Antonelliana, CastellamontennnSolo
1995Actualité de la sculptureIV Triennale Européenne de Sculpture, Jardin des Plantes, ParigiGroup
1994Arnaldo Pomodoro: opere grafiche 1994Galleria 2RC, RomeSolo
1994Premio Marche 1994Mole Vanvitelliana, AnconaGroup
1990Arnaldo Pomodoro, visioni e maschere per 'La passione di Cleopatra' (1989)Galleria Franca Mancini, PesaroSolo
1990Gioielli e legature, Artisti del XX secoloBiblioteca Trivulziana, Castello Sforzesco, MilanGroup
1989Arnaldo PomodoroSala del Broletto, NovaraSolo
1989XX Biennale Internazionale di San PaoloSan PaoloGroup
1988I progetti visionari di Arnaldo PomodoroVenice Design Art Gallery, VeniceSolo
1987Arnaldo PomodoroMarisa Del Re Gallery, New YorkSolo
1986Arnaldo Pomodoro. Papiri e altre formeStudio Marconi, MilanSolo
1985Arnaldo Pomodoro a PaviaPiazza della Vittoria, PaviaSolo
1980Le invenzioni di ArnaldoGalleria Franca Mancini, PesaroSolo
1978Arnaldo Pomodoro ImpressionsGalerie des Saints Pères, ParisSolo
1975Disegni-Litografie-ScultureGalleria Corsini, IntraSolo
1972Arnaldo Pomodoro '72Galerie Stangl, MunichSolo
1970Arnaldo PomodoroStudio La Città Galleria d'Arte, VeronaSolo
1965Arnaldo PomodoroMarlborough-Gerson Gallery, New YorkSolo
1961Pietre e gioielliPalazzo Massimo, RomennSolo
1955Arnaldo e Giò Pomodoro, Giorgio PerfettiGalleria dell'Obelisco, RomeSolo