As you walk on viale Trento e Trieste toward the railway station, the sight is progressively more and more dominated by Alexander Calder’s Teodelapio, the biggest among the sculptures that remained past the Sculture nella città exhibition, curated by Giovanni Carandente for the 5th Festival Of Two Worlds.
When Giovanni Carandente invited Alexander Calder in March 1962, to take part in the exhibition, he asked him to create a Mobile that would serve as triumphal entrance to the city and become its symbol. The American sculptor answered creating a mock-up out of a metal sheet, now on display at the Carandente Museum in Palazzo Collicola, 1/27 the size of the actual sculpture-to-be, thus originating the very first of so many Stabiles, now scattered across many cities in Europe and America.
The name of the work is that of a Longobard duke, represented on an ancient print with a spiked crown that remind of the Spoletan Stabile. 18 meters tall, the work is considered the first stabile in the world.
As Carandente had remarked, no-one had ever thought of such a great stabile, that could fill a whole square and frame the sight of a city in its iron sheets. After the Teodelapio, Calder would multiply his stabiles across the cities of all continents, and huge sculptures by many others would follow afterward. The Teodelapio is Calder’s only monumental sculpture in Italy.
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