Olotratto of

Ezra Pound

Disegno per l'olotratto di Ezra Pound

Detail of the preparatory drawing

Olotratto di Ezra Pound

Stratigraphic structure in plexiglas
cm. 80 x 62 x 12
National museum of Matera

The facial expression is visible with a certain “delay” (even if, as in the other olotratti, it never assumes a reassuring stability) and then becomes legible in all of its details..

“First a drawing, with delicately dotted lines, the synthesis of various images of Pound; then a much more detailed and in itself definitive version; now Pound’s face is obtained from the combination of fragments of letters from the Chinese alphabet, torn away from their ideographic meaning to converge, once disintegrated, in assuming a descriptive function. There is a clear allusion to Pound’s interest in Chinese and the fantasies of its ideograms […] Avalle has always loved to tell stories and to dig out figures (I am reminded of the recent portrait of Montale). Now the story seems abandoned, but it is not; because the story is that of self-creation and the continual moving (thanks to our movements) of this splendid portrait, changing just like Pound’s personality, controlledly image-making like his poetry. (from Cesare Segre, “Cristalli viventi”, catalogue of the exhibition at Residenza San Damiano, 1990 – translated by Leslie Ray)