Pietro Consagra, Mazara del Vallo 1920 - 2005 Milan
Pietra matta di San Vito No. 13, 1972
ProvenancePietro Consagra Archive
The Colloqui (“Dialogues”) series, with which Consagra fully defined his frontal sculpture in 1952, can be considered as some of the most emblematic alternatives offered by European sculpture to the unbridled impetus and material deconstruction of Informal Art. They consisted of two (and later, sometimes even three) vertical elements placed in such a way as to form a dynamic contrast with each other, within a perimeter that tended to be square or rectangular. The Colloqui are realized in different materials, but their planes are always reduced to their minimum thickness, placed together or superimposed, forming layers and surfaces that alternate overhangs, openings, interstices, patinas and colours.
After experimenting with various materials and thicknesses for his sculptures, Consagra felt the need to increase the volume of his bi-frontal pieces, thus from 1972 he started to work with marble. Consagra was fascinated by the richness of the material and its variety in colours, like the red Sant’Agata marble of the present work. Realized in 1972, Pietra matta di San Vito no 13 is one of Consagra’s earlier Marmi and belongs to a series precisely called Pietre matte di San Vito that the artist presented at his solo exhibition in 1973 at the Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo. These marbles appear as simplified archetypes, stripped of Consagra’s characteristic incisions and openings in his surfaces. The Pietre Matte appear as a pure ode to volume and their heaviness is a contrast against the lightness of his previous works. In his subsequent marble sculptures, Consagra would go on to engrave the material like he did in his iron or wooden sculptures.
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