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Giuseppe Penone

Ramificazioni del pensiero / Branches of Thought

September 5–October 18, 2014
Beverly Hills

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Installation view, photo by Douglas M. Parker Studio

Works Exhibited

Giuseppe Penone, Luce zenitale / Zenithal Light, 2012 Bronze and gold, 157 ½ × 59 ⅛ × 59 ⅛ inches (400 × 150 × 150 cm)© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Luce zenitale / Zenithal Light, 2012

Bronze and gold, 157 ½ × 59 ⅛ × 59 ⅛ inches (400 × 150 × 150 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Luce zenitale / Zenithal Light, 2012 (detail) Bronze and gold, 157 ½ × 59 ⅛ × 59 ⅛ inches (400 × 150 × 150 cm)© Giuseppe Penone

Giuseppe Penone, Luce zenitale / Zenithal Light, 2012 (detail)

Bronze and gold, 157 ½ × 59 ⅛ × 59 ⅛ inches (400 × 150 × 150 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone

Giuseppe Penone, Albero porta—cedro / Door Tree—Cedar, 2012 Cedar wood, 125 × 40 × 40 inches (317.5 × 101.6 × 101.6 cm)© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Albero porta—cedro / Door Tree—Cedar, 2012

Cedar wood, 125 × 40 × 40 inches (317.5 × 101.6 × 101.6 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Albero porta—cedro / Door Tree—Cedar, 2012 (detail) Cedar wood, 125 × 40 × 40 inches (317.5 × 101.6 × 101.6 cm)© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Albero porta—cedro / Door Tree—Cedar, 2012 (detail)

Cedar wood, 125 × 40 × 40 inches (317.5 × 101.6 × 101.6 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Anatomia / Anatomy, 2011 (view 1) White Carrara Marble, 124 × 77 × 62 inches (315 × 195.6 × 157.5 cm)© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Anatomia / Anatomy, 2011 (view 1)

White Carrara Marble, 124 × 77 × 62 inches (315 × 195.6 × 157.5 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Anatomia / Anatomy, 2011 (view 2) White Carrara Marble, 124 × 77 × 62 inches (315 × 195.6 × 157.5 cm)© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Anatomia / Anatomy, 2011 (view 2)

White Carrara Marble, 124 × 77 × 62 inches (315 × 195.6 × 157.5 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Anatomia / Anatomy, 2011 (detail) White Carrara Marble, 124 × 77 × 62 inches (315 × 195.6 × 157.5 cm)© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Anatomia / Anatomy, 2011 (detail)

White Carrara Marble, 124 × 77 × 62 inches (315 × 195.6 × 157.5 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Pelle di foglie—5 foglie a terra, 2011 Bronze, gold, 113 × 75 × 39 inches (287 × 190.5 × 99.1 cm)© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Pelle di foglie—5 foglie a terra, 2011

Bronze, gold, 113 × 75 × 39 inches (287 × 190.5 × 99.1 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Spine d'acacia—Contatto, aprile 2006, 2006 Canvas, acrylic, glass microspheres, acacia thorns, 118 ½ × 189 ½ × 2 inches (301 × 481.3 × 5.1 cm)© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

Giuseppe Penone, Spine d'acacia—Contatto, aprile 2006, 2006

Canvas, acrylic, glass microspheres, acacia thorns, 118 ½ × 189 ½ × 2 inches (301 × 481.3 × 5.1 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone, photo by Josh White

About

What fascinates me about trees is their structure: the tree is a being that memorializes the feats of its existence in its very form. Similarly, our bodies could be considered the sum of the performance of our existence. The tree can be considered a metaphor for the work of a sculptor who fixes his actions in the material.
—Giuseppe Penone

Gagosian Beverly Hills is pleased to present Giuseppe Penone’s first major exhibition on the West Coast.

In sculptures, drawings, photographs, and installations, Penone heightens the subtle levels of interplay between man, art, and nature. His work represents a poetic expansion of Arte Povera’s radical break with conventional media in favor of organic and accessible matter, and emphasizes the involuntary processes of respiration, growth, and aging that are shared by man and tree. During the late 1960s in the forests near Garessio, Italy, Penone stunted the growth of trees with nails, metal wire, and an iron cast of his hand that gripped a living trunk, thus insinuating himself into the cycles of the landscape. He continued to engage his own body in the early 1970s by drawing the textures of his skin and casting his face in plaster; in To Reverse One’s Eyes (1970), he was photographed wearing mirrored contact lenses, positing vision as the precise point of separation between self and environment. In recent years, Penone has taken the natural attributes of traditional sculptural media, including wood, bronze, and marble, as points of departure for the creation of monumental, tactile forms.

The exhibition takes its title from a passage in John Keats’s poem Ode to Psyche (1819), an anecdotal narrative of love, nature, and the creative imagination. Each work is a revelation of the sculptural qualities innate to natural materials. Penone chisels cedar trunks and masses of marble to expose the deep patterns resulting from growth and time, characteristics that he further emphasizes through carving, patination, and replication. In Anatomia / Anatomy (2011), a 23-ton marble block, he reconceives the veined surface as a matrix of tendrils, advancing the original marks into multiple dimensions.

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The cover of the Spring 2020 edition of the Gagosian Quarterly magazine. A Cindy Sherman photograph of herself dressed as a clown against a rainbow background.

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2020

The Spring 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #412 (2003) on its cover.

Still from the video Giuseppe Penone at Fort Mason showing the artist's 2004 sculpture Idee di pietra (Ideas of Stone) installed at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

Giuseppe Penone at Fort Mason

A yearlong outdoor installation by Giuseppe Penone in San Francisco’s historic Fort Mason features two life-size bronze sculptures cast from fallen trees. The project continues the artist’s long investigation of the perpetual give-and-take between humans and nature. In this video, Penone discusses what drew him to this landscape and the concepts behind the installation.

Installation view of Giuseppe Penone’s exhibition at Gagosian, San Francisco. A bronze sculpture and a wall-mounted sculpture including leaves.

Giuseppe Penone: Foglie di bronzo / Leaves of Bronze

Gagosian director Pepi Marchetti Franchi speaks about Giuseppe Penone’s recent exhibition in San Francisco, detailing the various works and their relationships to the artist’s long-standing sculptural practice.

Giuseppe Penone, Leaves of Light – Tree, 2016, installed at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Rain of Light

One year after the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Jean Nouvel and Giuseppe Penone sat down with Alain Fleischer, Pepi Marchetti Franchi, and Hala Wardé to reflect on how the museum and Penone’s commissioned artworks for the space came to be.

Still from video Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Visions of the Self: Jenny Saville on Rembrandt

Jenny Saville reveals the process behind her new self-portrait, painted in response to Rembrandt’s masterpiece Self-Portrait with Two Circles.

Giuseppe Penone and Carlos Basualdo

Gagosian Quarterly Talks
Giuseppe Penone and Carlos Basualdo

Giuseppe Penone discusses his new monograph, The Inner Life of Forms, with the book’s editor Carlos Basualdo, senior curator of contemporary art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, at the Greene Space, New York. Hosted by art critic Deborah Solomon.