Pietro Consagra: Frontal Sculpture 1947-1967London
ProvenanceCollezione privata, Milano (n. n. 1/2)
Collezione privata, Milano (n. n. 2/2)
Klaus Wolbert (curated by), Pietro Consagra. La Città Frontale, Gabriele Mazzotta Editions, Milano, 1997, p. 12, ill. b/n (Plastico in ferro), 1949, Eisen, 63x12x8,5 cm, Privatsammlung, Mailand.
ExhibitionsRome, Marchetti Gallery, A partire da Forma 1. Percorsi dell'astrattismo di Accardi, Consagra, Dorazio, Perilli, Sanfilippo, Turcato, October 18–December 1 2012, (catalogue: curated by Sivia Pegoraro, text by Silvia Pegoraro, Lorenza Trucchi, Grafiche Turaro Editions Rubano, Padova), ill. col., p. 34, (Plastico in ferro), Plastico in ferro, 1949, cm 62,2x13x8, Courtesy of Archivio Pietro Consagra, Milan.
viewer and space. For Consagra, frontal sculpture is the modern antidote to the rhetoric and authoritarianism of classic sculpture, which views the sculptural object as the centre of attention and fully self-sufficient. This enabled him to shift the sculpture from this hypothetical ideal centre – the emblem of power and a hierarchy of relationships – into an authentic, horizontal and immediate dimension with the viewer. This reflected his aspiration for a more democratic, just and egalitarian society. Consagra thus combined sculpture, viewer and setting in an entirely new vision of space – one that was the authentic image of a society different from the one in which he worked, based on equality and dialogue, rather than on the mechanisms of dominance and power. He worked with a great variety of different materials, including bronze, iron, burnt wood, steel and marble, and his forms were not modelled, but built and arranged on superimposed planes, so that they could be perceived in a direct, unitary manner. Right from the outset, one consequence that was already implicit in his total vision of sculpture as an ethical and social need was that he extended and developed his idea in relation to other disciplines. These were primarily architecture and urban planning, but they also included poetry and music, as part of a global intervention in reality, in order to bring about a change that could satisfy the democratic and civil demands that always guided his work.
This 'Ferro' sculpture of 1949 is a smaller version presented at the Mostra di scultura contemporanea (Exhibition of Contemporary
Sculpture) in Venice, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni (1949). It was acquired by Peggy Guggenheim on that occasion, and then
donated to the New Orleans Museum of Art in 1962.
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