Sculpture is a passion Pistoletto has nurtured since childhood, when at the age of fourteen he bought, on installment, an antique wood sculpture, the first of a collection he augmented over the years. Beginning in 1967, he used casts of classical sculptures for some of his works, such as Venus of the Rags (1967) or The Etruscan (1976). The Annunciation (1980)—in which a cast of a statue is overlaid with a second figure in polyurethane—and The Giant (1981), which superimposed casts of several statues—foreshadowed the subsequent production of true sculptures, in the etymological sense of the term, made of rigid polyurethane, a material chosen for the speed with which it can be modeled. So, in just a few days, using polychrome polyurethane blocks, he created a group of works called Nativity, shown in New York at Salvatore Ala Gallery in November 1981. Later sculptures increasingly took on the appearance of condensed and elaborated fragments recovered as though they were objects ‘found’ in the memory of the sculptural tradition—an appearance particularly clear in such works as The Acrobat (1982) or Tree (1983). From 1984 on, he also used marble to ‘copy’ the polyurethane sculptures on a large scale, or superimposed marble and polyurethane as in the group, The Four Seasons (1985).
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Venus of Rags, 1967-1974
The Etruscan, 1976
The Annunciation, 1980
The Giant, 1981
About-turn, 1981
Nativity, 1981
Nativity, 1981
Man Carrying Pumpkins, 1981
The Runner, 1981
Visitor with a Cape, 1981
The Hand, 1981-1982
The Head, 1981-1982
The Shoulder, 1981-1982
The Acrobat, 1982
The Fall, 1983-1991
Double Figure, 1982
White Giant, 1982
The Tree, 1983
Figures looking in the Well, 1983
The Giant, 1981-1983
About-turn, 1981-1984
Pierced Rose, 1982-1983
Red Heads, 1984
Figure looking at herself,
Black Persons, 1984
Genius of the Time, 1984
Alter-Ego, 1984
The four seasons, 1983-1985