Gaetano Pompa

Gaetano Pompa I bronzi del bosco del Diaccialone

24 h. site specific installation (by invitation only)

A tribute to Gaetano Pompa: an artist who has left an unforgettable mark on the Maremma region.


A symbolic figure of the 1960s and 1970s, always against the trends of much of his generation, from the avant-garde of abstraction to figuration, Gaetano Pompa is probably the artist who most deeply embodied the imagery of the Maremma.
A versatile and cultured artist, his fantastic universe conceals a literary and symbolist research that interweaves historical figures, mythological creatures and rural landscapes, reflecting on the dilemmas and enigmas of our time.
The unbreakable bond between Gaetano Pompa and the Maremma, which he had known since childhood and never abandoned, allowed him to conceive the landscape as an expression of European history and culture, offering a profound insight into the psychological, existential and autobiographical issues of modern humanity.
In collaboration with Gaetano Pompa Archive, for one day only, a selection of 25 works, mostly in bronze and created between the end of the 1960s and the early 1990s, will be ‘hidden’ in the evocative woodland of the Diaccialone agricultural estate in Pescia Fiorentina. Anthropomorphic figures and fantastic creatures will appear to visitors as extraordinary epiphanies, hidden among the trees and shrubs of the Mediterranean poplar forest. The Diaccialone estate, a place where the artist spent long periods of time and conceived many of his works, thus becomes a significant scenario for exploring the condition of modern man, starting from the representation of the rural world.
One of Gaetano Pompa’s most famous works is the altarpiece for the church of San Biagio in Ansedonia, created in 1976, a tangible testimony of the deep bond between the artist and the Maremma.



Gaetano Pompa was born in Forenza, Lucania, in 1933. He spent his childhood between Forenza and Tarquinia where, through the family’s friendship with Professor Romanelli, he had access to Etruscan-Roman archaeological sites in the Tuscia and Maremma areas. At the end of the war, he moved to Rome where he became passionate about life drawing and attended the studios of Gastone Biggi and Assen Peikov. He continued drawing even during his military service (1955-56),

carried out first in Orvieto and then in Sulmona, where he made numerous sketches and studies of comrades and landscapes. Returning to Rome, he devoted himself to painting and engraving and got to know some of the leading figures on the Roman scene, including Gianni Novak, Andrea Picini, Mimmo Rotella, Paolo Buggiani, Mario Schifano, Tano Festa, and Franco Angeli. In 1957 he inaugurated his first solo exhibition at the L’Obelisco Gallery in Rome, where he met colleagues and friends Gustavo Foppiani and Domenico Gnoli. He started a close collaboration with Gaspero Del Corso and Irene Brin with whom he exhibited regularly in Italy and abroad, taking part in the main institutional exhibitions of the 1960s. From 1958 to 1961 he lived in Munich, in the Schwabing district, where he carried out an intense intellectual and artistic activity, becoming passionate about the cultural and musical life of the Bavarian city. He simultaneously entertained a lively exchange with the sculptor and painter Emilio Greco and began to become interested in ceramics.

In 1961 he married Dorothea Leendertz, a photographer who graduated from the Münchner Fotoschule, whom he met while in Munich; together they have five children. In Rome he often attended the German Academy’s Villa Massimo circle, near his studio on Via Nibby. He established deep relationships of esteem and friendship with a number of intellectuals including Max Frisch, Ingeborg Bachmann, Tankred Dorst and Uwe Johnson. The latter will inspire the title of the Mutmassungen series of works. In 1964 he presented an exhibition of ten large canvases entitled The Tenth Commandments at the Obelisk. The same exhibition is shown again at Knoedler Gallery in New York with a preface by Max Frisch. The collaboration with Knoedler, through Del Corso, establishes an intense relationship with American collecting that will continue throughout the 1960s.

He participated in the IX Quadriennale Nazionale d’Arte in Rome and the VI Biennale in Paris in 1965 and two editions at the Carnegie International in Pittsburgh in 1964 and 1967. In 1970 he executed the sets and costumes for Gioacchino Rossini’s ‘Elizabeth, Queen of England’ directed by Mauro Bolognini, staged in 1971 at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo and at the Aix En Provence and Edinburgh festivals. The following year he inaugurated an anthological exhibition of his sculptural production-from 1964 to 1972-at the Obelisco, with a catalogue edited by Enzo Carli and Fortunato Bellonzi. He also worked on new projects with Mies and Mario Apolloni’s Galleria Rondanini and with the dealer Paolo Sprovieri, with whom he collaborated continuously until the late 1980s. Since 1974 he spent part of the year in Maremma, in Ansedonia – a land to which he dedicated numerous series of works- working in the house-studio where he regularly frequented colleagues and friends including Carlo Guarienti, Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni, Mario Schifano and Franco Angeli. In 1977 he received the Vatican commission for the episode of St. Paul’s life on the occasion of the LXXX genetliaco of Pope Paul VI. In the 1980s he exhibited frequently in Rome, Brindisi, Bologna, and Venice, followed by Vittorio Sgarbi who invited him to participate in several group shows. In 1993, at the invitation of Fabrizio Clerici, an anthological exhibition was inaugurated at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. Two years later Enzo Carli organized the retrospective exhibition at Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza.

Gaetano Pompa has never physically left the borders of Europe and has mainly frequented the cities of Milan, Venice, Berlin, Munich, Paris, and London. His works are part of various international collections and institutions including: Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf; John Herron Art Museum, Indianapolis; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Rembrandt Art Center, Johannesburg; Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Genoa; MoMa, New York; Graphic Collection University of Glasgow; Vatican Museums, Vatican City.



In collaboration with Archivio Gaetano Pompa


Thanks to Diana, Guido and Matidia Pallini, Terenzi Wine, La Maremmana Caseificio, Cech brothers by Posto Pubblico.

Press release