giuseppe penone

(Garresio, Cuneo, Italy 1947. He lives and works in Turin, Italy, and Paris, France) A key figure in the Arte Povera group, he has shown a persistent interest in the main elements of this artistic movement, i.e., the body and nature. In the latter, he sees the source of pre-cultural forms that become meaningful through the cultural process. His materials are wood, stone, and resin: natural, simple, and humble. His most famous series, Alberi, was conceived in 1969 with the aim to “re-discover the trees within matter” by bringing the trees’ growth rings to the surface and thus reveal their heart, while Alpi Marittime (1968–1978) are images of the artist in the act of intervening on natural elements by leaving indelible marks that will change over time. Essere fiume 4 (1995–1996) represents a most radical action in the poetics of the artist: it consists of two identical stones, one of which is natural, the other is the result of human action. His work draws out existing forms, with awareness of the common vital force shared by all living beings, and of the interaction between the inner and outer realms. In 2004 a retrospective exhibition was held at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and he received another at MAMbo, Bologna, in 2008. He participated in Documenta, Kassel, in 1972, 1982, 1987; in 2007 he inaugurated with Sculture di Linfa the new Italian Pavilion in the 52nd Biennale in Venice.


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