Pietro Consagra

Inventario n. 2. Anello Ottone, 1967


68 × 0.5 × 68 cm

Edition size: 3

Interested in purchasing this work?


Additional Information

Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

We offer collectors a range of shipping options including a variety of specialist art couriers.
Please allow four to six weeks for the artwork to arrive after purchase.


Though its title may describe a “brass ring”, Consagra’s work is not in fact a smooth and circular shape which the viewer might envisage at that title, but rather, this metal object appears to be scallop-edged. Yet again in his characteristic style, Consagra’s ring is a two-dimensional take on sculptural practice, opening up the dialogue between spectator and spectacle.

The relatively sparse ratio of material-to-space in this wall-mounted sculpture highlights the artist’s emphasis on the environment as an element of his work. Space has remained a key tenet of Consagra’s practice as he viewed it not as an indefinite and abstract entity but rather as a real element that can be expressed through geometric allegory. The tension between object and space is one which is antithetical, highlighting how Consagra’s work evolved as a historical conception in reaction to issues with traditional sculpture.

Thus, Consagra here highlights space by forcing it to imprint itself upon the spastic screen, making it not an abstraction, but rather the irreducible dimension of human lived experience, as something which the viewer senses with their entire being.

the artist

Pietro Consagra (b.1920-d.2005) was one of Italy’s most renowned post-war sculptors whose work rejected the tradition of three-dimensional sculpture to embrace a more direct mode of interaction between art and audience.

Born in Mazara del Vallo in Trapani (Sicily), he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Palermo before founding the ‘Forma I’ group in 1947 in Rome, a formalist and Marxist collective which rejected the popular metaphysical romanticism and distortion of the time. Exhibiting at various galleries in Italy and taking part in the Venice Biennale eleven times between 1950 and 1993, Consagra enjoyed international acclaim, including exhibitions at the Peggy Guggenheim collection, Venice, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Tate Gallery in London.

Primarily interested in liberating sculpture from the burdens of any historical legacy, Pietro Consagra worked in bronze and iron to create sculptures that were flattened and almost two-dimensional. In this way, he disposed of a normative authoritarian centre in favour of a frontal outlook that established a far more open ‘tete-a-tete’ between work and viewer. For Consagra, “placement became meaning”; his works used abstraction to expose meaning that would otherwise never have been revealed. From 1952, he established the ‘Colloqui’ series, a collection of bronze sculptures that were defined by the plasticity of their flattened surface: overlapping planes, gaps and varying texture destabilised any semblance of a ‘conventional’ viewpoint.

In the sixties, colour became an essential element of Pietro Consagra's sculpture. His ‘Transparent Irons’ series saw monochrome works of pink, violet, blue and crimson take on the issues of a frontal perspective by becoming mobile, rotating at the touch of a hand. Ultimately, the curving fragments and defiant colours of Consagra’s works were the most vital part of his rejection of traditional sculptural canons. In the words of the artist: “Art is the only way to keep oneself suspicious, susceptible, nervous, intolerant, evasive, enthusiastic, balanced, unbalanced, attentive, aggressive, lazy, imaginative, libidinous, free, ungraspable.” The tension that arises from these contradictions is what makes Pietro Consagra's works retain a psychological power for the audience to engage with.


In the words of the artist:Art is the only way to keep oneself suspicious, susceptible, nervous, intolerant, evasive, enthusiastic, balanced, unbalanced, attentive, aggressive, lazy, imaginative, libidinous, free, ungraspable.

Pietro Consagra
on Artuner

Part of the

September 26th, 2017 until
January 10th, 2018
Curated by ARTUNER