Pietro Consagra: Frontal Sculpture 1947-1967London
No. 10 Paracarri
(H) 30 x (D) 18 cm ca., on a low base about 290 cm long
LiteratureDaniela Muti, Provocazioni astratte in "Casaviva", n. 102, a. XVIII, Milano, ottobre 1990, p. 278, ill. col.; Giuseppe Appella, I multipli di Consagra 1968-1994, Edizioni della Cometa, Roma, 1995, s. p. [p. n. n. 62], ill. b/n, catalogo n. 18/b.
ExhibitionsRoma, Marlborough Galleria d'Arte, Pietro Consagra, 4 aprile–5 maggio 1974 (pieghevole: testi di Pietro Consagra, ill. col., n. 2); Milano, Galleria dei Bibliofili, Pietro Consagra. Welcome to Italy, 28 maggio 1974 (invito: testo di Vanni Scheiwiller); Genova, Galleria Sileno, I paracarri di Consagra, 9–19 novembre 1974 (supplemento monografico di "Resine" pubblicato in occasione della mostra: Carlo Romano, Alfredo Passadore, Consagrazione del fallo, in "Bollettino del Sileno libreria-editrice", Genova, 20 ottobre 1974); Verona, Museo di Castelvecchio, Pietro Consagra: Sculture 1976/77, 16 luglio–30 ottobre 1977 (catalogo: testi di Giovanni Carandente, Licisco Magagnato, Cortella/ Industria Poligrafica, Verona); Rimini, Palazzo dell'Arengo, Consagra. Mostra antologica, 30 giugno–30 settembre 1981 (catalogo: a cura di Guido Ballo, Cooperativa Supergruppo Editrice, Ravenna, ill. b/n, n. 51, p. 106).
Exemplars 20 of 50 The stone bollard’s moment of truth came during the terrorism of the Counterre formation, when the church of Rome closed ranks to defend itself against attacks on its dogmas. The bollard is an insignia of power expressed in phallic virility, and with this absolute subject the architect must create a work that is original, and therefore different from the works of other colleagues who have made originals of the same subject. Bottleneck of the variable possibilities, game of the increasingly difficult, the stone bollard becomes the architect’s masterpiece, involved like a sculptor who creates a sculpture inspired by his own member: exhibition of the signs of his own capability and status. The uniqueness of the bollard is the architect’s affair, but fashion and the Inquisition wanted the cities adorned, embellished by this derisive message. The baroque world is tragic. Rome of the Inquisition accumulated explicit stone bollards and did not want to be misunderstood about death sentences. Each city expressed its own relationship with the political situation guided by the central power. The meanings branch out into ambiguity, into participating or overlooking. In Milan the bollards range from the explicit to the ridiculous or absentminded traffic cone. One however is a masterpiece of ambiguity, intelligent, present. It’s in front of the old Seminary in Corso Venezia. Overturned, it changes interlocutor. Camouflaged as a bucolic tribute, it is actually focused on the sense of the reality it addressed: a place of the harvesting of men who, for the Church, gave up the virility of their sex. Just as Canova would later overturn the torch to symbolise death, here the bollard with the tip downwards and the ball above alludes to castration. Naples was terrified, overstated. Instead of being explicit à la Pompeii, it invented murky and coercive ones like the phallus-breast in Via Chiatamone, or the terrible, definitive one with the death’s head in Via dei Tribunali. Terror on the point of birth. Florence, lordly Florence, wanted to be neither explicit nor ambiguous. It does not love subterfuge, prefers to renounce and overlook. The Counter Reformation washed off her. Florence has no stone bollards. Siena whipped out only one, for Palazzo Chigi; then the city got many, all the same as the prototype. In no way fantastical, it turned out explicit, frank and keen: a dignified Tuscan. An explicit one stands out enthroned in Como, playing dumb, barbaric, tough and neglected, as if from nowhere, we don’t know how In Palermo, banalities excluded, there are a few, small and clandestine, in the internal courtyards of private palazzos. Outside, nobody felt like playing with fire, and there was neither demand nor supply. One of the stowaways is a little masterpiece which, transfigured into an octagon, has so far got away with it on the sly. The stone bollard is an ancient Roman by birth, born priapic, and it remains priapic and papal. Rome here, city of maximum powers, is the richest in bollards. They’re in rows or grouped together, or isolated, half-buried, enchained, and they’re known as mammozzi, after a headless statue found during excavations. The Inquisition made a show of them and the popes liked to have their emblems engraved, such as the Medici lily for Clement VII and the six-pointed star for Alexander VII. Rome is explicit, Rome is ambiguous. Bernini and Borromini chasing each other with two stone bollards as lifelike as self-portraits: terrorism and exorcism. A bollard for personal defence. The great spiral one in Flaminio has disappeared. The artwork described above is subject to changes in availability and price without prior notice. Where applicable ARR will be added.