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Fendi Unveils a New Exhibition in Rome in Collaboration with Italian Sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro

Photo: Courtesy of Fendi

Fendi has inaugurated a new exhibition ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro. Il Grande Teatro delle Civiltàwhich translates to ‘Arnaldo Pomodoro. The Great Theatre of Civilizations’ – at its famed headquarters in Rome, the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana. Curated by Lorenzo Respi and Andrea Viliani in collaboration with Fondazione Arnaldo Pomodoro, the exhibition will be free to visit from May 12 to October 1, 2023.

The Italian luxury fashion house views the collaboration as part of an overarching ideology looking for sustainable and innovative partnerships that merge respect for historical heritage with the propagation of contemporary artistic languages. The Italian sculptor, who has been celebrated as a genius of his craft, personifies this philosophy with work that often alludes to archaic, antique, modern, or even just fantastical ‘civilizations’ that evoke at once memories of the past and visions of the future, blurring the lines between history and myth as we confront the experience of time and space.

Photo: Courtesy of Fendi

Il Grande Teatro delle Civiltà explores the interconnection, in Pomodoro’s practice, of visual and scenic arts and highlights the relationship between the planning component of the work and its creation while creating a storyline carrying notes similar to those mentioned above. The exhibition spans over 70 years of the artist’s innovative expression with this ‘autobiographical theatre’, featuring around 30 works created by Pomodoro between the late 1950s and 2021, together with a series of archival materials – photographs, documents, sketches, drawings, many of them never exhibited before.

The exhibition begins at the four external corners of the building where the four sculptures Forme del mito (1983) – taken from scenic machines created for a series of theatrical performances inspired by Aeschylus’ Orestes by the artist Emilio Isgrò – are placed. From the entrance hall—which features two costumes created for theatrical shows—visitors will enter two specular rooms and a connecting room featuring two oppositely colored works staged symmetrically: Le battaglie (1995), in black, and Movimento in piena aria e nel profondo (1996-1997), in white. Staged within these rooms along with other works are also the design and documentary materials giving a sense of the artist’s studio and the spirit of his archive.

Photo: Courtesy of Fendi

Visitors will arrive at the conclusion of this journey on the third-floor arcade with Osso di seppia (2011-2021) which is a symbolic matrix of all the artist’s works. Il Grande Teatro delle Civiltà is also a starting point for discovering Pomodoro’s other works located in Rome and around the world as the exhibition is accompanied by a monographic catalog published by Skira which will be available in Fendi boutiques and directly in the exhibition space. It can also be explored digitally through a dedicated website where users will be able to sign up to visit the exhibition.

Pomodoro also revisits the Peekaboo bag with this exhibition, reimagining a Fendi icon in his vision. “I had great fun involving myself with the Peekaboo, one of the most iconic Fendi bags, a brand that combines craftsmanship, creativity, and innovation. I wanted to place the “function of use” of the object-bag in discussion and transform it into something mysterious and visionary: a medieval shield? A mythological animal covered in sharp spines? An exotic flower with long pistils?” 

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