Grande disco

Author: Arnaldo Pomodoro
Title: Grande disco
Date: 1972
Location: piazza Meda, Milan

Above: Arnaldo Pomodoro, Disco grande, 1972, piazza Meda, Milan, photo by Filippo Maisano, Copyright Arnaldo Pomodoro. All rights reserved.

A large disc in bronze is erected so that it shows its two faces to the viewer. The circle, mirror polished, is corroded from the inside along five lines that branch off from the center. Inside these cracks, the material reveals a mysterious and telluric life, while the shape of the sculpture can suggest a sun or allude to Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man.

An early model for this sculpture, small in size, was exhibited at the Marlborough Gallery in New York in 1965. Later, Pomodoro drew two specimens plus an artist’s proof, doubled in size and cast in bronze in 1972. While the two works took the path of important collections abroad, the artist’s proof initially remained property of the author, and has been exhibited for a few years in the central square of Vigevano. It is the artist himself who tells how the then Mayor of Milan Carlo Tognoli, having learned of the impossibility of the city of Vigevano to accept the permanent gift of the Disc, wanted to welcome it in Milan, finding, accordind the sculptor himself, the very central location of piazza Meda.

The main theme of Pomodoro’s art is captured in the work: the dramatic tension between the absolute smoothness of the closed shapes, underlined by the fineness of the bronze, and their internal crack, which reveals a seething life, which alludes so much to the magma of the evolving matter as to the gears of mysterious machinery or electronic circuits. This dialectic is then linked here to the Leonardesque image of the Vitruvian Man, a symbol for the Milanese, inscribed in a perfect circle. Finally, the disc evokes a large sun, which explodes, radiating an irrepressible vitality, in harmony with that of the city in which the work has found its place.