Artwork of the month May

Pino Pascali, Bachi da setola, 1968

Pino Pascali

* 1935 in Bari, Italy, † 1968 in Rome, Italy

Bachi da setola, 1968

Acrylic, brushes, metal

40×28×305cm, 40×28×285cm

Purchased with funds of Gerda Techow gemeinnützige Stiftung, Vaduz

"I like animals because I think they are like intruders, they don't belong to the human race. [...] It's like when you hold a bird in your hand that has just been flying, for example a sparrow or a swallow. At moments like these I am in touch with a living being that does not belong to the world of numbers. It existed before them and is just as present as me, possessed of the same life energy and of the same nature." Pino Pascali

In terms of structure and form, Bachi da setola ("bristle worms") are reminiscent of oversized caterpillars crawling their way into the exhibition space. Made from industrial plastic bristles in garish colours, lined up and held together by metal structures, these overlarge bristly creatures play on the ambivalence of artificial alienation and the imitation of nature. Of exaggerated dimensions, they evoke images of "primal nature", of a time when human beings did not yet exist, while the use of gaudily coloured everyday material recalls the cultural artificiality of human life.

Pascali consistently echoes the play of artificial "reintroduction" of nature into artistic practice and the related combined effect of reality and imagination in the form of language. The title of the piece is a play on words: the artist replaces the Italian word "seta" (silk) with "setola" (bristle), thereby interweaving the silkworm (Baco da seta) imagined by the viewer – whose cocoons are used to make fine endless threads – and the bristly caterpillar object (Baco da setola) in factual space.

Pino Pascali's work is not extensive as he died at the age of thirty­two following a motorcycle accident. Bachi da setola are part of an unfinished group of works known as La ricostruzione della natura (Reconstruction of Nature) by this arte povera artist who died at such a young age.

Denise Rigaud

<b>Pino Pascali, Bachi da setola, 1968</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.