Pino Pascali

Italy (Bari 1935Roma 1968 ) - Artworks
PASCALI Pino Pelle Conciata

Christie's /Oct 16, 2009
380,952.45 - 598,639.57
475,188.60

Find artworks, auction results, sale prices and pictures of Pino Pascali at auctions worldwide.
Go to the complete price list of works Follow the artist with our email alert

 

Variants on Artist's name :

Pinopascali

 

Artworks in Arcadja
259

Some works of Pino Pascali

Extracted between 259 works in the catalog of Arcadja
Pino Pascali - Muro Di Pietra (pietra Pietra) Wall Of Stone (stone Stone)

Pino Pascali - Muro Di Pietra (pietra Pietra) Wall Of Stone (stone Stone)

Original 1964
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 81
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Pino Pascali (1935-1968) Muro di pietra (Pietra pietra) Wall of stone (Stone stone) fabric on canvas 70 3/8 x 102 3/8in. (178.8 x 259.8cm.) Executed in 1964 Galleria La Tartaruga, Rome. Vittorio and Diletta Gassman Collection, Rome. Nicolò Donà delle Rose, Rome. Private Collection, Italy. PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION V. Rubiu, Pascali, Rome 1972 (illustrated, p. 39; installation view illustrated, p. 129). Pino Pascali, exh. cat., Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, 1991 (illustrated, p. 27). A. D'Elia (ed.), Pino Pascali, Milan 2010, no. 39 (illustrated, p. 180). M. Tonelli, Pascali, Catalogo Generale delle Sculture dal 1964 al 1968, Rome 2011, no. 12 (illustrated, p. 118). Rome, Galleria La Tartaruga, Pino Pascali, 1965. Naples, Libreria/Galleria Guida, Mambor - Pascali, 1966. Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Pino Pascali, 1969, no. 8 (illustrated, unpaged). Rome, Parcheggio di Villa Borghese, Contemporanea, 1973 (illustrated, p. 136). Rome, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, X Quadriennale Nazionale d'Arte, La Ricerca Estetica dal 1960 al 1970, 1973 (illustrated, p. 173). London, Hayward Gallery and Institute of Contemporary Art, Arte Italiana 1960-1982, 1982-1983 (illustrated, p. 93). Milan, Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Pino Pascali (1935-1968), 1987-1988, no. 1 (illustrated, unpaged). Rome, Studio Durante, Pino Pascali, 1990, no. 1 (illustrated, unpaged). A vast 3 metre-long, 2 metre-high wall-like structure comprised of a sequence of rectangular sponge blocks each bearing the stenciled misnomer 'Pietra' (Stone), Muro di pietra (Wall of Stone) is a work that explodes the traditional boundaries between painting, sculpture, language, theatre and environment. Executed in 1964 and effectively a self-labelled stone wall that materially asserts itself as not a stone wall, but rather a more fluid and indeterminate form of artifice belonging to a new conceptual realm, it is one of a pioneering sequence of semi-theatrical 'object-sculptures' that Pascali exhibited together at his first one-man show at the Galerie La Tartaruga, in Rome in 1965. It was this exhibition at Plinio de Martiis' well-known Roman gallery that effectively launched Pascali's brief but extraordinary career, announcing him as one of the most interesting and radical of a new generation of Italian artists. As he was to do in all his subsequent four exhibitions - the Armi at Sperone's and the Finte sculture, Elementi della natura and Riconstruzione della natura at L'Attico - Pascali transformed de Martiis' gallery space by using his work to generate an entirely new and surprising environment. In addition to Muro di pietra, the other 'object-sculptures' that Pascali exhibited in this groundbreaking show were his ruined classical landscape Ruderi su prato (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Roma), Colosseo, his model of the Colosseum and two of his three-dimensional expanding painting-sculptures of the female body/landscape, Grande bacino di donna (Mons Veneris) (Goetz Collection Munich) and Primo piano labbra (Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Roma). Neither paintings, nor sculptures, nor objects, nor stage-sets, but bearing the hallmarks of each, all of these, predominantly white or achromatic 'object-sculptures', appeared to exist beyond the boundaries of these media and to assert a new fluid creative realm of playful invention and potential. As if to reinforce this magical sense of possibility and of his work existing in a new conceptual space outside of and beyond that of the conventional art object, Pascali, as he was to do in all of his subsequent shows, enhanced the sense of the interactive and interdisciplinary nature of his work by also staging a series of personal performance-like interactions amongst the works on view. In front of Primo piano labra, for example, Pascali had himself photographed naked in a metal cylinder wearing goggles while with Ruderi su prato he hid behind the work's broken column and under its suspended cloud - a live figure concealed amongst this overtly artificial landscape. In front of Muro di pietra Pascali appears to have staged a mock execution, staging a photograph of himself kneeling in a metal cylinder while an unknown executioner holds a cocked pistol to the back of his head. While these light-hearted actions assert the central importance that Pascali put on a sense of the theatre and of childlike play as key components of his work, they also invoke a world of open-ended invention and creative possibility. In the popular imagination, executions by firing squad often take place against a stone wall for example. In Pascali's enacting of a mock execution in front of Muro di pietra, the artist invokes this imaginative realm, intermingling reality and fiction in a way that invests this self-demonstrably artificial or mock-stone wall with an ambiguous but intriguingly new reality and purpose. In doing this Pascali anticipates the fluid form of thinking about objects and spaces that he would later employ to even more dramatic effect in his shows of Armi (weapons) and finte sculture (feigned sculptures) in 1965 and 1966. As with these works, the dominant tendency of each of Pascali's 'inventions' at La Tartaruga was the overt manifestation of its own artifice. This is nowhere more apparent than Muro di pietra with its sequential repetition of stone slabs each individually labeled 'pietra'(stone) even though they are clearly not made of stone. Indeed, Pascali's choice of a permeable and suggestively fluid material in the form of sponge in place of impermeable, solid, resistant stone is, in this context revealing. There are few more solid, fixed and determinate mental images than that of a brick or stone wall. Yet, here, in a move that appears to anticipate the fluid, permeable walls and gallery floors that later would allow Pascali's feigned sculptures of dolphins and whales to seemingly pass through them, Pascali has created a permeable and 'feigned' brick wall - one that, because of its repeated invocation of the word 'pietra' also appears to question the relationship between language, truth and material reality. It is in this respect that Muro di pietra relates most closely to another object-sculpture of a wall that Pascali made around the same time, his Muro del Sonno (Wall of Sleep). This identically sized work, now in MUMOK in Vienna, is a similar wall-like structure where in place of bricks or stone slabs Pascali affixed a sequence of pillows to a wooden stretcher support. Both of these works, with their painting-type supports, emulate in one respect the self-assertive material logic and grid-like use of repetition that distinguishes Piero Manzoni's groundbreaking tabula rasas of painting; his Achromes, (especially the square-cut canvas Achromes). But they also develop this aesthetic into a subversion of itself. In Pascali's two 'Walls', the manifest materiality of these works has been deliberately undermined. Hard, solid form has been supplanted by a novel use of soft and permeable material in a way that conjures new and surprising associations far removed from the physical reality and the mental construct of a brick wall while still invoking the core idea of a wall. These two major works also draw on what was, in the early sixties, a prevalent concern with the idea of the shaped-canvas and the canvas-object, concepts which informed strongly the work of Italian artists such as Enrico Castellani and Agostino Bonalumi at this time as well as several American and British Pop artists. With its repetitive stenciled labelling calling into question the role of language as a bearer of truth and its manipulation of material creating further ambiguity, Muro di pietra establishes a poetic realm of sensibility that in many ways reveals the closeness of Pascali's aesthetic at this time to that of his good friend Jannis Kounellis and in particular Kounellis' so-called 'alphabet paintings'. These paintings, which had themselves derived and emerged from the walls of Kounellis' studio, invoked a similarly ambiguous world beyond language to the achromatic 'painting-object-sculptures' that Pascali presented at La Tartaruga. Appearing to use the fragments of language, in the form of letters and signs, Kounellis's pictures appeared to sow the seeds of a new poetry seemingly emerging from the wall. Using a similar achromatic palette and graphic use of words. Pascali's Muro di pietra, is a work that, like all of those that followed it, invokes the same sense of poetic genesis. By establishing its identity in a space that it reveals to exist between the idea of the thing represented and the physical form of the thing itself, it is a clear forerunner of the kind of conceptual art soon to be practiced by American artists such as Bruce Nauman and Joseph Kosuth. Its demonstrative undermining of the apparent certainty of words and the validity of names to convey meaning reveals the true nature of objects, things and the world around us, to be far more open to playful and inventive interpretation than established conventions allow. The walls that Pascali created in Muro di pietra and Muro del Sonno are in fact a breaking down of walls and an opening up to a new dimension. Robert Brown
Pino Pascali - Baco Da Setola

Pino Pascali - Baco Da Setola

Original 1968
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 66
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Lot Description Pino Pascali (1935-1968) Baco da setola acrylic brushes on metallic support 15 5/8 x 11 x 120 1/8in. (40 x 28 x 305cm.) Executed in 1968 Provenance Franz Paludetto, Rome. Galleria Iolas, New York. Acquired from the above by the present owner. Literature M. Tonelli, Pascali, Catalogo Generale delle Sculture dal 1964 al 1968, Rome 2011, no. 117 (illustrated in colour, p. 152). Exhibited Rivara, Castello di Rivara, Il gioco del pensiero, 1992. Cologne, Galerie Michael Janssen, Pino Pascali, 1997. Stuttgart, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Plastik. Eine Ausstellung zeitgenössischer Skulptur, 1997. Basel, Art Basel, Art Unlimited, 2000. Magdeburg, Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, La Poetica dell'Arte Povera, 2002-2003. Rivara, Castello di Rivara, Room installations, 2007. Vaduz, Kunstmuseum Lichtenstein, Che fare? Arte povera. The Historic Years, 2010. View Lot Notes › The Bachi da setola are giant multi-coloured silk-worms made from household cleaning brushes that belong to Pino Pascali's last great series of works made in 1968 - the Ricostruzione della natura ('Reconstructions of Nature'). Incorporating a play on words, a play on material and a play on scale, these extraordinary, humorous and impressive creatures seem like alien manifestations from some parallel universe magically enchanting the space into which they are set. Their title Bachi da setola ('Brush-worms') plays on the words 'seta' ('silk') and 'setola' ('bristle). Bachi da seta are silkworms, but here, in these bachi da setola the soft natural miracle of silk has been replaced by giant stiff man-made bristles of synthetic colour and industrial manufacture. Deliberately asserting the paradox and artifice of their construction these 'reconstructions of nature' parody the worlds of nature, industrial manufacture and the creative imagination and merge them into a form that hints at new possible worlds of unbounded potential and limitless scale. For Pascali, as his friend and colleague Jannis Kounellis later eulogised, this exploration around and between the boundaries of the 'real' and the representational was strongly connected to a sense of identity. The way in which we perceive the world and the foundation of our own sense of reality and identity is rooted in what Kounellis described as a 'dream of a world imagined in childhood'. Through a relatively simple subversion of material, image and scale, Pascali's playful aesthetic awakens this innate childhood sense of play and possibility in the viewer and opens up a vision of the world as a magical arena of exploration, adventure and discovery - as a multiverse of many possible and coexisting realities. At their first exhibition at the Galleria L'Attico in May 1968, Pascali emphasized this many-sided quality of his 'brush-worms' in a series of outdoor photographs of himself interacting with them and by installing them at the exhibition around a mysterious silken web built into the corner of the gallery. The strange but not unrelated analogy between these creatures and a web somehow also reinforced their innate sense of playfully distorted logic as well as the vibrant power of their own powerful and self-manifested metamorphosis. It is in this respect that they also echoed Pascali's own sense of himself as a being constantly recreating and redefining himself.
Pino Pascali - Four Works: Mucca;  Arabi;  Donnina(studio);  Figure

Pino Pascali - Four Works: Mucca; Arabi; Donnina(studio); Figure

Original 2008
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 45
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
PINOPASCALI Four works: (i) Mucca, 1963; (ii) Arabi, 1963; (iii) Donnina(studio), 1964; (iv) Figure, 1963 (i) Inkpad ink, conté crayon, wax crayons, alcohol on cardboard;(ii) coloured pencil on paper; (iii) mixed media on wallpaper andacetate; (iv) mixed media on acetate laid on cardboard. (i)24.7 × 35 cm (9 3/4 × 13 3/4 in); (ii) 22 × 28 cm (8 5/8 × 11 in);(iii) 24 × 30 cm (9 1/2 in × 11 3/4); (iv) 24.7 × 30 cm (9 3/4 × 113/4 in). PROVENANCE (i) Giuliano Cappuzzo, Florence; IlTorchio Gallery, Milan (ii) & (iii) Sandro Lodolo, Rome; (iv)Il Torchio Gallery, Milan EXHIBITED Como, Como Chamber of Commerce, PINOPASCALI Il Disegno del Mondo, 12 April–12 May 2008 LITERATURE A. Bonito Oliva, Pino Pascali: Thedrawing of the world, Milan, 2008, (i) p. 30, (ii) p. 66, (iii) pp.64–65, (iv) p. 62 (each illustrated)
Pino Pascali - Pelle Conciata

Pino Pascali - Pelle Conciata

Original 1968
Estimate:

Price:

Gross Price
Lot number: 35
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Pino Pascali (1935-1968) Pelle conciata acrylic on synthetic blue fur 90 5/8 x 63in. (230 x 160cm.) Executed in 1968 Provenance Galleria L'Attico, Rome. Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 1968. Literature V. Rubiu, Pascali, Rome 1976 (illustrated, unpaged). A. D'Elia, Pino Pascali, Bari 1986, no. 103 (illustrated, p. 173). Exhibited Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Pino Pascali, 1935-1968, May-July 1969, no. 45 (illustrated, unpaged). Dublin, Rosc '71, The Poetry of Vision, October-December 1971. Milan, Padiglione D'Arte Contemporanea, Pino Pascali, December 1987-January 1988, no. 15 (illustrated, unpaged). Cagli, Torre Martiniana, Pensieri spaziali: Coletta, Gastini, Icaro, Mattiacci, Nagasawa, Nunzio, Pascali, September-November 1989 (illustrated, unpaged). Rome, Associazione Culturale L'Attico, Pascali geometrico, February 2000, no. 3 (illustrated, unpaged). Shanghai, Museum of Contemporary Art, Italy Made Art: Now-Contemporary Arts & Industrial Design, June-July 2006. Lot Notes 'A man's maturity consists in having found again the seriousness one had as a child, at play', Friedrich Nieztsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886, Part 4, Aphorism 94. Seeming like a bizarre artefact or hunting trophy from a primitive or even extraterrestrial civilization, Pelle conciata is a large, imposing and completely artificial animal skin made from a synthetic blue fur-like industrial fibre. A curious, almost Star Trek-like, mix of modern industrial technology and primitive cliché, this spectacular but self-evidently fictitious animal hide is one of the very last works that Pino Pascali made before his tragic early death from a motorcycle accident in September 1968. It belongs to the artist's great final series of works entitled Ricostruzione della natura (Reconstruction of Nature) - a series in which Pascali attempted to fabricate an entirely artificial world, nature and civilization, using a poetic fusion of modern industrial material, primitive archetype and imaginary agriculture. Remaining incomplete at the time of the artist's death, this series of 'Reconstructions' marked the culmination of an extraordinary and intense two-year period in which, with four outstanding and very distinct series of works, Pascali had quickly established himself as the most exciting, inventive and powerful Italian artist of his generation. The first of Pascali's 'Reconstructions' of Nature took the form a giant blue synthetic fur spider humorously entitled Vedova blu (Blue Widow). This monstrous but also highly amusing creature, in some respects a furry animalised parody of Alexander Calder's Stabiles, was exhibited at a group show in Rome in early 1968. This exhibition was followed by the first collective show of Pascali's emerging new series of works, held at the Galleria L'Attico in Rome in March of the same year. As he had previously done with his first solo exhibition of finte sculture ('feigned/fake sculptures') at the L'Attico in 1966, this exhibition also took place in two parts: one dedicated to another example of Pascali's mysterious new synthetic wildlife - his Bachi da setola (Brushworms) - giant colourful silkworms made from plastic household cleaning brushes. The other part was an even more elaborate attempt to create a sense of an entire civilization through a collation of architectural artefacts that together seemed to materialise a completely fictitious world of adventure. This part of the exhibition constituted an entire environment that included hanging vines, trap-doors, a drawbridge, a man-trap, and a rope-bridge to nowhere, all made from metal-wool scouring-pads. Interacting with this impossible primeval village environment, Pascali dressed himself in the clichéd guise of a savage, draped in raffia and wrapped in a fake-fur animal hide. Carrying crudely fashioned agricultural implements of the kind that he would again use in his last 'performance', in Luca Patella's film of him as a kind of mystical farmer sowing bread-sticks in the sand, Pascali had himself photographed for the exhibition catalogue among these constructions in the guise of this savage and alongside images of Tarzan's famous chimpanzee side kick, Cheeta. Mixing layers of artifice and apparent impossibility, Pascali, like a modern-day shaman, had once again transformed the sterile space of the gallery into an enchanted and mesmerising realm of potential. However, his aim with this series of works, was not just to transform the supposedly fixed environment of the gallery into a fluid, open and magical world, as indeed he had done before with his previous shows of weaponry, feigned animal sculpture and geometrically defined elements of nature. Here, in an apparent parody of modern science's brave-new world of synthetic and 'man-made fibres' that was then transforming the cultural landscape and creating, Pascali believed, 'a new nature', his new 'reconstructions' explored and asserted an entirely alternate universe and direction for mankind - one directed not by the strictures of logic and science, but by Pascali's own more open, individualistic and human 'technology of inquiry': play. In what was, perhaps, another reaction against the depersonalising collective and mechanised consumerism of Pop culture in contemporary America, Pascali was seeking in this series of works more than ever to re-invoke the magic of simplicity and to place the creative power of the individual at the heart of the world. 'There are already some frightening examples in America of things being out of synch', he told Carla Lonzi in 1966, 'in an American laboratory, you can see some unbelievable materials. Well there's already no point of contact between these materials and those that the American artist is using. Artists must make use of materials perfected by researchers, it seems as if nature has been virtually exhausted, a new nature is being created. In Italy there's quite a different atmosphere - there's still a mental reality with possible choices, they will not to be taken for a ride. The European artist is a solitary man but also an autonomous one - a man who brings an autonomous civilization to life.' (Pino Pascali, 'Interview with Carla Lonzi', quoted in Pino Pascali, exh. cat., Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, 1991, p. 16). Pascali's adoption and amusing application of man-made fibres and the synthetic materials used in simple household cleaning products reflected a long-held interest in the innate properties of material that he shared with an artist like Piero Manzoni. 'I like to take the material itself as my point of departure, because the material itself contains its own limits,' Pascali explained. 'If one chooses a certain material, one is setting very definite limits on one's possibilities. I do not think one can do everything with a certain material, one can only do one thing and this thing is an idea in itself' (Pino Pascali, 'Interview with Carla Lonzi', ibid., p. 82). In addition to the self-defining language of materials that Manzoni, and before him Alberto Burri had pioneered, Pascali introduced the highly individualistic and also often humorous aesthetic of play (and playfulness) as a serious anti-rational method of inquiry. 'Play isn't just a thing for children,' Pascali insisted, 'it's a system of knowledge. Children's games are really meant to allow them to experiment with different things - to get to know them and at the same time to go beyond them.' (Pino Pascali, 'Interview with Carla Lonzi', ibid., p. 9). As Palma Bucarelli wrote of Pascali's work in the introduction to his great retrospective exhibition at the Galeria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome held shortly after his death in May 1969, 'Within the state of alienation in which he has placed himself, the man of our time can be free, can be himself, only if he plays; and playing is not a way of departing from reality but of entering into it' (Palma Bucarelli, 'Introduction', Pino Pascali, exh. cat., Rome, 1969). Pelle conciata, which was first shown at this retrospective, is a work that stands at the centre of Pascali's playful aesthetic and material investigations. Self-evidently a skin, a material surface and, because of its distinctly anti-natural synthetic blue colour, also manifestly a fiction (a finta scultura), this synthetic fur pelt, like the fur mushrooms, giant fur bird's nest, or plastic brushworms, stands as a manifestation of a new, magical but also wholly artificial nature. In the sense of it being a pelt cured and made according to the practice of ancient and primitive societies, this skin, as both an artefact and icon, is also a potent symbol of man's concept of civilization, of its foundations and of man's brilliance in his ability to forge and construct a life and a world for himself from the material of his surroundings. In this, this work also stands as a metaphor for art itself and the intrinsic role art plays within civilization. 'Art means finding a method for change: like the man who first invented a bowl to hold water. This is how a civilisation is born through the desire for change,' Pascali said. 'But what I really wanted to emphasize was the passion that presides at the creation of a civilization. That's the problem which is central to the Italians, the Europeans; it needs the passion of man who has nothing, to truly create something.' (Pino Pascali, 'Interview with Carla Lonzi', ibid., p. 22).
Pino Pascali - Ponte

Pino Pascali - Ponte

Original 1968
Estimate:

Price:

Lot number: 124
Other WORKS AT AUCTION
Description:
Pino Pascali (1935-1968) Ponte braided steel wool 315 x 39 3/8 x 35 7/8in. (800 x 100 x 90cm.) Executed in 1968 Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner in1968. Literature V. Rubiu, Pascali, Rome 1976, p. 111. A. D'Elia, Pino Pascali, Bari 1983, no. 102 (illustrated, p.172). The Italian Metamorphosis, 1943-1968, exh. cat., New York,Guggenheim Museum, 1995, no. 224 (illustrated in colour,unpaged). G. Celant, Arte Povera, Basel 1989 (illustrated, pp. 182 and 183).C. Christov-Bakargiev, Arte Povera, London 1999 (illustrated, p.144). Exhibited Rome, Galleria L'Attico, Pino Pascali: Bachi da Setola e altrilavori in corso, March-April 1968. Wiesbaden, Städtische Gemaldegalerie, Bignardi, Kounellis,Lombardo, Mattiacci, Pascali, May 1968. Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Pascali, May-July 1969,no. 44 (illustrated, unpaged). Rome, Galleria La Tartaruga, April 1976. Rome, Galleria L'Attico, Quattro scultori: Leoncillo, Pascali,Nagasawa, Nunzio, January 1987. Milan, P.A.C. Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Pino Pascali:1935-1968, 1987-88, no. 14. Rome, Galleria L'Attico, Pino Pascali: Ponte sull'acqua, October1988. New York, Salvatore Ala Gallery, Pino Pascali, 1989. Otterlo, Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Pino Pascali,February-September 1991. Paris, Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Pino Pascali,March-May 1991 (illustrated in colour, p. 96). Valencia, IVAM Centre Julio Gonzales, Pino Pascali La recostrucciónde la naturaleza, September-November 1992, no. 16 (illustrated incolour, unpaged). Milan, Arte 92, Pino Pascali, November-February 1994. Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale, L'Arte Italiana del Novecento,December 2000-April 2001. London, Tate Modern, Zero to Infinity: Arte Povera 1962-1972,May-August 2001, no. 112 (illustrated, p. 293). This exhibitionlater travelled to Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, October2001-January 2002; Los Angeles, The Museum of Contemporary Art,March-August 2002 and Washington D. C., Hirshhorn Museum andSculpture Garden, October 2002-January 2003. Naples, Castel Sant'Elmo, Pino Pascali, May-July 2004, pp. 42-43,88-89, 144, 192-93. New York, Gagosian Gallery, Pino Pascali, February-March 2006, pp.54, 60-61, 66 (illustrated in the frontispiece). Spoleto, GCAM-Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Pino PascaliLeoncillo -Due artisti a confronto, June-October 2008 (illustratedin colour, pp. 57-59). Lot Notes 'Art means finding a method for change: like the man who firstinvented a bowl to hold water. This is how civilisation is born,through the desire for change. After the first time, making a bowlbecomes academic. Making a rope bridge or a wooden god; beatingdestiny, conditioning or fear. What I do is the opposite oftechnology, as inquiry, the opposite of logic and science' (PinoPascali, cited in Marisa Volpi 'tecnici e materiali' Pino Pascali',Marcatré, no 37-38-39-40, Milan May 1968, p. 73). Pino Pascali's rope-bridge Ponte is the largest, most important andbest-known of the last series of works that Pino Pascali madeshortly before his death at the age of 33 from injuries sustainedin a motorbike accident in the autumn of 1968. This series,entitled Ricostruzioni della natura (Reconstructions of Nature)marked the culmination of an extraordinary period of intenseactivity in which, with four outstanding and very different seriesof works made in the space of just two years, Pascali established areputation as the most exciting, inventive and powerful Italianartist of his generation. Constructed from hundreds of wire-wool scouring pads, Ponte takesthe form of a classic rope-bridge of the kind featured in Tarzanmovies, action-adventure stories and other fables of far-offworlds. Both a symbol and an archetype, the rope bridge is an imageand a form that immediately invokes the strange and exotic aura ofprimitive worlds of exploration, adventure and discovery as well asthe drama of the precarious and perilous journey of the hero intothe void or over an abyss. By invading the gallery space with this instantly recognisable,richly evocative but also incongruous sculptural form - extendingseemingly without meaning or purpose between one bare, solid walland the other - Pascali did not so much intend his bridge to beseen as an object worthy of veneration as use it in a magical way,like a fetish, to transform the gallery (as he had done so oftenbefore) into a fantastical and charmed arena of dream-like andopen-ended possibility. As if suddenly materialised from anotherworld existing beyond the sterile, empty and minimalist space ofthe white-cube of the gallery, Ponte, with its bizarre conjunctionof modern industrialized material and ancient, even timeless, formand function, is a work that appears to transcend or even, as itsname suggests, 'bridge' these two apparently separatedomains. In purely formal terms, the rope-bridge is a simple piece offunctional engineering, a primitive but elegant material solutionto the problem of crossing empty space. As such it is also apowerful sculptural and architectural testament to the power andingenuity of human creativity. Like the bowl that primordial manmade with his hands when he first cupped them together in order todrink, the rope-bridge is a vital and resonant sculptural form thatPascali recognized as symbolizing and embodying an entire conceptof 'civilization' - a testament to the human spirit and man's powerof invention. For Pascali, it was this innate sense of humanity inherent withinthe resultant form of such an object that impressed him so stronglyabout so-called primitive art, in particular African sculpture. Itwas the reason that he felt such art had 'such a presence, such aforce, that they absorb and possess me' (Pino Pascali, cited in I.Bignotti Pino Pascali, genio ribelle tra libertà e committenza,Brescia 2006, reproduced in Pino Pascali lavori per la pubbllicità,exh. cat., Florence 2007, p. 134). What he described as the'clarity and intensity' of these sculptural forms were qualitiesthat he believed were derived directly from the relationship if notunion, born of necessity, between the passion of their creator'sentire being and the materials that he or she found at hand aroundthem. 'You have a specific world around you, the way Africans, whenthey have to make a sculpture, they use a piece of zebra skin or apiece of wood, they use whatever's around them and so do we, yousee, but the problem lies in putting these things together; that'swhere you really determine your own space and thus your own image'(Pino Pascali, 'Interview with Carla Lonzi', quoted in C.Christov-Bakargiev (ed.), Arte Povera, London 1999, p. 262). The innate humanity manifested in the invention of such primalforms as a bowl made with the hands or a rope-bridge, was a featurethat had, Pascali believed, come to be lost in the modern era bythe technologically advanced civilizations of the West. It couldhowever, as his work often sought to reveal, still to be found inthe creation and invention of children and their playfulmake-believe worlds of discovery and exploration as well as in thearchetypal worldview of so-called primitive societies. As he toldCarla Lonzi, 'Primitive man, the man who walks naked, notices thatthe sun rises to the right of a particular mountain and sets to theleft of a particular tree. The same man, walking through theforest, discovers that the sun also rises behind another mountain.When that man needs to drink he creates a shape with his own hands.When he makes that gesture with his hands he uses his whole energy.He creates a civilization, a world all of his own. It's not a workfor a work's sake; what is important is the intensity which isbrought to bear on its realisation. Here, (in modern Italy) we canonly imagine a glass that is designed so as to incite you to drink.It's not up to me to be the critic. I have always liked clearshapes. What I really wanted to emphasize was the passion thatpresides at the creation of a civilization. That's the problemwhich is central to the Italians, the Europeans; it needs thepassion of the man who has nothing, to truly create something'(Interview with Carla Lonzi cited in Pino Pascali, exh. cat.,Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo 1991, p. 22). Expounding on what was soon to become one the key ideals of whatGermano Celant would later define as 'Arte Povera', Pascali hereraised the concept of poverty or impoverishment - 'the man who hasnothing' - as a key precondition of creation. Indeed, it wasessentially in the guise of a 'man who has nothing' - as aprimitive, a caveman or a kind of Tarzan-figure, a lone wild man ofthe jungle working alone amidst the urban sophisticates of themodern world, that Pascali presented himself in conjunction withhis last series of works - the 'Reconstructions of Nature'. Ricostruzioni della natura 'It's obvious that my interior universe, my imaginary world, hasbeen much more profoundly influenced by adventure stories than byall the learned books I was able to read later (Pino Pascali,'Interview with Carla Lonzi', ibid., 1991, p. 10). Pascali's 'Reconstructions of Nature' were first presented in ashow of 'works in progress' at the Galleria L'Attico in Rome inMarch 1968, held in two parts. The series takes its name fromGiacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero's manifesto for the 'FuturistReconstruction of the Universe' and playfully champions theirconcept of 'infinite systematic discovery-invention.' Marking theculmination of Pascali's work to date, this exhibition was to provePascali's last solo show. In this series, which, in addition toPonte, consisted of other such primitive and jungle-adventuredevices as a man-trap, a draw-bridge, vines for swinging on, aprimitive easel and an animal skin, Pascali appeared to be creatingan entire primordial world made out of modern industrial fibres andsynthetic fur. A fantasy world of his own boyish imagination andseemingly informed by his love of B.C. comics and perhaps filmslike the then recently released One Million Years B.C., this was auniverse that was also populated by an equally exotic and weird'nature': the nest of giant bird, giant synthetic fur mushroomsthat seemed to be sprouting through the floor of the gallery, agiant blue fur spider and, caught in its web, a collation ofenormous 'brushworms' - Pascali's brilliantlysynthetically-coloured and industrially-manufactured giantsilkworms, the Bachi da setola. Mixing the artifice andanti-natural material of synthetic furs and industrial metal woolwith the natural and primitive forms of life in the stone age,Pascali, like a modern-day shaman, transformed the entireenvironment of the gallery into an enchanted and imaginary world inwhich these two apparent opposites seemed to have been magicallyre-integrated. As the title of this series suggests, this new worldwas one where nature itself appeared to have been industriallymodified or 'reconstructed' in accordance with the artist's ownplayful aesthetic. In conjunction with this bizarre spectacle, andas he had done in earlier series such as the Armi (Weapons), wherehe had dressed in full camouflage and played 'shoot-em up gameslike some overgrown schoolboy with his life-size andrealistic-looking armory of weapons, Pascali had several images ofhimself made in a series of photographs in which he adopted theguise of a strange rustic primitive or caveman. In addition tothese photographs of himself covered in raffia and posing with anassortment of agricultural tools, several images of a more modernself alongside Tarzan's celebrated chimpanzee accomplice 'Cheeta',also appeared in the catalogue that accompanied theexhibition. The rustic and shamanic figure in raffia that Pascali presented isessentially the same distinctly Mediterranean faux-primitive 'sowerof food and culture' that he adopted as a kind of cinematicalter-ego in Luca Patella's 1968 film SKMP2. In this film, Pascalihad appeared emerging from the sand by the edge of the sea to cut arectangle of ocean with a saw, embrace a classical Venus andultimately cultivate a strange and fertile rectangular garden ofbread sticks in the sand. Other elements, such as his recently madegiant bird's nest were also, at one stage, to have been included inthis filmed performance. As well as accompanying his latest cycleof works, concentrating on what was ultimately a Futurist-derivednotion of reconstructing a new universe, the character that Pascaliadopted in this film clearly reflected one important aspect of howhe saw himself - as an Italian 'wild man' - a staunchlyMediterranean figure whose art, life and personality were alldeeply rooted in the rural far south of the country where he hadbeen born and raised. The counter-balance to this figure is theall-modern, fashionably dressed 'man-in-black' as Pascali dressedat the opening of his 1968 show at the L'Attico gallery and waslater photographed alongside many of the works. This figure - theman that Pascali had become in Rome - epitomised the modernforward-looking artist who was exploring the boundaries of natureand representation with these works. 'It's as if I were a wildman,' Pascali once explained, 'but instead of being a wild man I'man Italian living in Rome, and using plastic means, and entering acertain dimension' ('Interview with Carla Lonzi', op cit., p.262) In the way in which Pascali's 'Reconstructions of Nature' attemptto articulate an entirely new nature beyond the realm of reason andlogic, this series of works surpasses all earlier ones in both thescale of its ambition and in its apparent departure from the'representation'. For here, instead of revealing elements of thereal world - guns, animals, earth and water, etc - to be, at heart,an artifice, an idea or an imagining, in this series Pascali hascrossed over to the other side, representing an entirely artificialworld of his own imagination as a manifest and undeniable materialreality. Echoing the earlier environments of his 'finte' sculpture - the'fake' weapons and 'pretend' dinosaurs - in the way in which theyproudly self-proclaim their own artifice, Pascali's'reconstructions' generate an even stronger sense of his work bothbelonging to and articulating not just a new and strange 'nature'but a completely alternate reality. Like a sudden materialisationof some mysterious parallel universe, the sense of the artifice andpermeability of all boundaries and of the, in fact, non-fixed butfluid nature of logic, reason and indeed reality itself, is herefurther emphasised through Pascali's uncanny and seeminglyeffortless ability to transform the space of the gallery into akind of 'soap-bubble' world of his own imagination. In the same way that he had earlier filled the Americans'Minimalist grid with the natural and disruptive material flux ofearth and water in his 'Elements of Nature' and converted the rigidwhite-cube of the gallery frame into a fluid entity by permeatingits walls with the bodies of whales and dolphins, here, in his'Reconstruction of Nature' the apparent solidity and fixed natureof the floors and walls of the gallery is again completelyundermined. Mushrooms sprout and trap doors open into the floor,while the walls are punctured and adjoined by the incongruous sightof rope-bridge seemingly emerging from and leading tonowhere. Far from mere illusionism or surrealism however, these elements areall undeniably real and, although deriving from an imagery world ofadventure and mutated into new surprising materials, remain clearlyrecognisable and strongly material presences that re-enforce,enliven and re-enchant our world through their strange tautologicalmirroring of both it and our dreams of it. Deriving from a world ofstories and the imagination, Pascali's devices such as the mantrap, the draw-bridge and Ponte, all strongly invoke an imaginedworld of adventure and in so doing also the vast, perhaps infinitepotential of man's inventiveness, creativity and imagination toenrich the world. It is ultimately this exciting and essentiallyopen-ended sense of possibility, of multiple realities and of ajoyous spirit of play and adventure within them that thesedeliberately open, ambiguous and contradictory works both expressand celebrate. Ponte is a work that perhaps symbolizes this aspect of Pascali'swork more than any other. A double-ended paradox, made fromextraordinarily light, though extraordinarily strong industrial butalso domestic and familiar material, it is a symbol of both ancientman and technology. Seemingly bridging two worlds - leading into aninvisible space or perhaps emerging from it - it is also a powerfuland mysterious image of both transference and change, as well as ofinterconnectivity and union. As such, since Pascali's death, Pontehas taken on a particular resonance and gained in importance oftenbeing chosen to form the centrepiece of several of Pascali'sretrospective exhibitions as well as a series of imaginative shows,in which the playful and investigative spirit of his work wasre-engaged with by his close friend and gallerist at the GalleriaL'Attico, Fabio Sargentini.
Arcadja LogoProducts
Subscriptions
Advertising
Sponsored Auctions
Subscriptions

Who we are
Our Product
Follow Arcadja on Facebook
Follow Arcadja on Twitter
Follow Arcadja on Google+
Follow Arcadja on Pinterest
Follow Arcadja on Tumblr