© Fondation Louis Vuitton / Martin
Argyroglo © Adagp
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.