Acacia e foglie di zucca

  • 1982
  • Guiseppe Penone
  • Bronze, steel
  • 240 x 38 cm
In opposition to the smooth surface of contemporary society, Giuseppe Penone finds existential meaning in the way surfaces are rendered.
Rather than seeing surface as appearance, he brings out in tree bark, marble and, more recently, leather, a network of vital veins, expressing the Heraclitean flux of existence. In Acacia e Foglie di Zucca (1982), the squash leaf fixed to the trunk develops, on a smaller scale, the idea of the vein as the structure of life. While proposing a perfect replica of the object, in bronze, the very technique of producing it expresses both the presence and absence of what is represented.

© Adagp, Paris, 2014. Photo © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage


Guiseppe Penone

Giuseppe Penone is one of the most important representatives of Arte Povera, a movement initiated in Turin in 1967. Its artists invented new forms of sculpture using natural and everyday materials and simple methods.

Originally from an ancient village in Liguria, Penone has been deeply influenced by the natural environment of northern Italy, shaped by man over the centuries. In the 1970s his work took a poetic approach to nature, leading to a consideration of man and his power over the environment and, by extension, the world. The breath, skin, nails, fingerprints and the growth rings of trees are models for this research that fuses the individual and the universal, in which the tree, as man's alter-ego, is one of the main motifs. Made from classical materials (bronze, marble) or natural elements (thorns, stones, water) his works offer a global experience encompassing thought, sight, touch and smell.

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