Arnaldo Pomodoro (b. 1926)

Image of Arnaldo Pomodoro's Grande Radar sculpture outside the Smart Museum

Constructed 1963
Installed 1974

Cast bronze
100 x 74 x 38 in (254 x 188 x 96.5 cm)

Located at The Smart Museum
5550 S. Greenwood Avenue  

Gift of Debra and Robert N. Mayer from the Robert B. Mayer Memorial Loan Collection

Artist Profile




During his first trip to the United States in 1959, Arnaldo Pomodoro saw Constantin Brancusi’s visionary sculptures for the first time at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. He subsequently established a lifelong goal to undermine the smooth curves and surfaces found in Brancusi’s work. Pomodoro once said to his friend, poet, and critic Francesco Leonetti:

The perfection of Brancusi was so beautiful and mysterious…at a certain moment I said to myself, really this perfection of the form in our time is inappropriate; it has to be destroyed. For me, the ‘destruction’ element in form was my most important discovery, and the most authentic both in terms of myself and my times.

Indeed, one of the most striking elements of Pomodoro’s Grande Radar is the drastic contrast between the even, bronze material of the body and the dense, brown, inscription–like marks in the center of both sides of the sculpture. The intricate nodes, teeth, foils, and threads seemingly carved into the material all contribute to the calculated destruction of Brancusi’s flawless surfaces. The original bronze color in these irregular areas is obscured by a matte dark brown patina to suggest a disconnection within the work. The jagged marks look anything but inviting to audiences compared to the surrounding golden frame, and perfection is certainly not the first thought to come to mind.


Written by Dora Zhang, AB in Economics and Visual Arts, 2016


Related Links

Arnaldo Pomodoro's website

Archival Materials

Photograph from the office of Mrs. Robert B. Mayer, 1975

Source: Smart Museum archive

Photograph from exhibition catalogue of Arnaldo Pomodoro: October 1965 at Marlborough–Gerson Gallery

Source: Smart Museum archive

Photograph from artist's catalogue raisonné


Hunter, Sam. Arnaldo Pomodoro. New York: Abbeville, 1982. Print

Pomodoro, Arnaldo. Arnaldo Pomodoro: Sculpture, 1960-1970. Berkeley: Art Museum, U of California, 1970. Print

Pomodoro, Arnaldo, and Flaminio Gualdoni. Arnaldo Pomodoro: Catalogo Ragionato Della Scultura. Milan: Skira, 2007. Print

Further Reading

Leonetti, Francesco, and Arnaldo Pomodoro. L'arte Lunga. Milano: Feltrinelli, 1992. Print

Pierre Restany, Arnaldo Pomodoro, l'oracle du bronze, in the Catalog of the Exhibition ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro dans les Jardins du Palais-Royal. Sculptures 1962-2000’, Jardins du Palais-Royal, Paris, 2002, pp. 15-16