Sphere Within a Sphere

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Art Type
Media / Materials
Year Completed
American Enterprise Art Collection
Latitude & Longitude
41.589808, -93.625282
Location Description
601 6th Avenue and Watson Powell Jr. Way Des Moines, IA 50309-1605

Italian sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro’s 18,000-pound outdoor sculpture, “Sphere Within Sphere,” marks the building’s entrance. Set on an axis, the bronze sculpture revolves like a globe. Pomodoro is known for his sphere sculptures; his most famous are at Vatican City in Rome, Italy and the United Nations headquarters in New York. The artist said, “[the sculpture] reflects and accommodates the environment with its own complex mix of imagery that can be seen as both humanistic and technology-oriented: a smooth exterior womb erupted by complex interior forms. Timely in its introduction, the sculpture is intended as a metaphor for the coming of a new millennium, a promise for the rebirth of a less troubled and destructive world.” November 19, 1999.


“The sphere is a marvelous object, from the world of magic, wizards, whether it is of crystal or bronze, or full of water…It reflects everything around it, creating such contrasts that it sometimes is transformed, becoming invisible, leaving only its interior, tormented and corroded, full of teeth,” explained the artist. “That’s what drives me to make the spheres: breaking these perfect, magic forms in order reveal (find, discover) its internal ferment, mysterious and alive, monstrous and yet pure; so I create a discordant tension, a conflict, with the polished shine: a unity composed of incompleteness.” “In my sculpture, the shape of today’s world contains within itself the form of the ‘ideal city’ as conceived by the artists of the Italian Renaissance. This, in turn, contains my hopes and dreams, and those of countless other citizens of the world.”

Amaldo Pomodoro

Find other public artwork: American Enterprise Art Park

Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation