(Borgofranco d'Ivrea, Italy, 1934)
Grigi che si alleggeriscono verso oltremare (Grays Lightening toward 'Oltremare')
stone, steel cable, slipknot, and ultramarine blue pigment
Not currently on view in the museum
This sculpture is, in effect, a landscape. At the artist's request, the final word in the title's English translation remains in Italian to suggest the work's double meaning. Oltremàre literally means "ultramarine," a semiprecious pigment made from powdered lapis lazuli that artists have used for centuries. This first meaning provides a formal description of the work, which consists of gray blocks of granite suspended by thin steel cables over a small rectangle of dark, intense ultramarine blue painted on the wall. Oltremàre also means "overseas," however, which transforms the work into a poetic landscape of gray clouds drifting over a deep blue sea. The 250-pound rocks seem almost weightless, and the abstract monochrome painting beneath them stands in for the endless horizon of the ocean.
108 in. x 240 in. x 24 in. (274.32 cm x 609.6 cm x 60.96 cm)
Accessions Committee Fund: gift of Frances and John G. Bowes, Harriet G. Henderson, Helen and Charles Schwab, and Phyllis and Stuart Moldaw
© Giovanni Anselmo
stones, rocks, hanging, gray, pairs
From June 3, 2013, through early 2016, SFMOMA's building on Third Street in San Francisco will be temporarily closed for expansion construction. Selected artworks in our collection are included in a range of off-site exhibitions during this period. We regret that the remainder of the collection will not be available for study during this time.
In the meantime, we invite you to explore a wide selection of our collection online. Please note that the information presented online is subject to revision. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to verify artwork details.