One of Antonio Berni's driving fundamental philosophies for art making derived from his insistence that art address the social and political realities from which it stemmed. To that end, his choice of materials alluded to the economic conditions and disparities in Argentinean society. Berni experimented in various directions by combining a hodgepodge of elements: industrial refuse, scraps from the sewing basket, domestic objects of daily life. He subsequently transferred these ideas and working strategies into magnificent large-scale works made out of myriad collaged materials on board. He developed a series of sculptures in a similar vein around two primary themes: sordidness and voracity. This sculpture epitomizes the series of "Cosmic Monsters" Berni produced in response to the painful and troubled sociopolitical realities of his country's history.

Cataloguing data may change with further research.

If you have questions about this work of art or the MFAH Online Collection please contact us.

Antonio Berni, Argentinean, 1905–1981
La sordidez
c. 1964
Polymateric construction composed of wood, cardboard, plastic, roots, nails, enamel, and metals including steel, iron, and aluminum bottle caps
Overall: 50 13/16 × 47 1/4 × 157 1/2 in. (129 × 120 × 400 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by the Caroline Wiess Law Foundation

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

The artist; by descent to his son, José Antonio Berni; sold to MFAH, 2004.