Detail of The Pietrarubbia Group: il fondamento, l’uso, il rapporto (1975–76) by italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro (b. 1926), in the collection of the Storm King Art Center, New York.
Pomodoro has described The Pietrarubbia Group as “a vision of an archaic settlement.” With its visual references to ancient burial traditions and hieroglyphics, the work commemorates the history and crumbling beauty of the nearly abandoned village for which it is named. The Pietrarubbia Group comprises a patio upon which stand two grand, slab-like bronze doors that visitors can move, providing access to the work’s interior. Expansive areas of the doors and the wall beyond them are incised with patterns that resemble ancient signs or writing, giving symbolic voice to the forgotten society that once occupied Pietrarubbia. The first line of Eugenio Montale’s poem Lo sai <You know) is inscribed on one of the doors:
Lo sai: debbo riperderti e non posso (“You know: I must lose you again, and I cannot”)