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Extended through June 15, 2017

Giuseppe Penone

Equivalenze

January 27–June 15, 2017
Rome

Installation view Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Installation view

Artwork © Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Works Exhibited

Giuseppe Penone, Equivalenze, 2016 Bronze, 113 ¾ × 93 ¼ × 66 ⅞ inches (289 × 237 × 170 cm)© Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Giuseppe Penone, Equivalenze, 2016

Bronze, 113 ¾ × 93 ¼ × 66 ⅞ inches (289 × 237 × 170 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Giuseppe Penone, Equivalenze, 2016 Bronze, 115 ⅜ × 157 ½ × 54 ⅜ inches (293 × 400 × 138 cm)© Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

Giuseppe Penone, Equivalenze, 2016

Bronze, 115 ⅜ × 157 ½ × 54 ⅜ inches (293 × 400 × 138 cm)
© Giuseppe Penone. Photo: Matteo D'Eletto, M3 Studio

About

The veins of water that pour from the earth flow in trickles that merge, like the branches in the trunk, like the fingers in the palm of a hand, like the bronze in the matrix of a tree.
—Giuseppe Penone

Gagosian Rome is pleased to present Equivalenze / Equivalences, an exhibition of new sculptures by renowned Italian artist Giuseppe Penone.

A protagonist of the Arte Povera movement, Penone has evolved his distinctive oeuvre through a deeply poetic, active engagement with nature and time, as well as a belief in the revelatory, transformative powers of art. Beginning with the idea that sculpture originates in primal impulses—filling one’s mouth with water, or making direct impressions with the hands—Penone elaborates and enriches his initial gestures through philosophical inquiry and intensive aesthetic process.

In Equivalenze, Penone uses sculptural attitude and artifice to reveal corresponding systems in organic materials and bodies. Fist-sized terracotta moldings bear the precise imprint of his forceful grip. The terracottas are appended to iron plates, which he has oxidized in areas with repeated strokes. The repetition of blots and arcs yields a lively abstraction that resembles the flickering shadows of a leafy plant or the staccato marks of a Fauvist landscape—the ambiguous zone between nature and art.

Penone’s works are bodily memories, materialized. They speak to his belief that we, like rocks, trees, and water, are constantly molding, and being molded by, our environments. Our gestures mirror the twisting and stretching of trees, which contain concentric records of time in their wood. For a new sculpture, Equivalenze (2016), Penone made plaster molds of tree parts and cast them in bronze, erecting an artificial tree, piece by piece. From the roots, an anthropomorphic helix of bark emerges, becoming a figure in contrapposto, facing its botanical counterpart. Penone thinks of such convergences as gesti vegetali (plantlike gestures). In his hands, the human form is freed from the tree, and the tree, in turn, reveals the visceral qualities of the human body. Using sculptural media and techniques, he releases the animas of things, thus uniting the essence of nature with the sensations of direct human action.

Le vene d’acqua che sgorgano dal terreno scorrono in rivoli che confluiscono, come i rami nel tronco, come le dita nel palmo di una mano, come il bronzo nella matrice di un albero.
—Giuseppe Penone

Gagosian Roma è lieta di presentare Equivalenze, una mostra di nuove sculture di Giuseppe Penone.

Fin dagli esordi nel movimento dell’Arte Povera, il lavoro di Penone si è contraddistinto per il coinvolgimento attivo con la natura e il tempo attraverso la consapevolezza del potere rivelatore dell’arte. Partendo dall’idea che la scultura abbia origine da impulsi primari—come riempirsi la bocca con dell’acqua, imprimere un segno sull’argilla con le mani, e così via, l’artista elabora e arricchisce le sue intenzioni attraverso una ricerca filosofica e un intenso processo estetico.

In Equivalenze Penone utilizza il processo scultoreo per rivelare le corrispondenze tra il corpo e la natura. Forme di terracotta modellate nel pugno dell’artista contengono l’impronta della sua energica presa. Penone le ha fissate su piastre di metallo dove l’ossidazione riproduce il contatto della pelle con la superficie dando vita ad una vivace astrazione che richiama le ombre tremolanti di una pianta rigogliosa o le macchie intermittenti di un paesaggio fauve: una zona di confine tra natura e arte.

Le opere di Penone sono memorie corporee, materializzate, testimoni della sua idea che anche noi, come le rocce, gli alberi, e l’acqua, siamo costantemente in trasformazione, e trasformati dall’ambiente circostante. I nostri gesti rispecchiano la tortuosità e la verticalità degli alberi che contengono testimonianze concentriche del tempo nel loro legno. Per l’opera Equivalenze (2016), Penone ha realizzato il calco in gesso di alcune parti di un albero, facendone poi una fusione in bronzo. Dalle radici emerge una spirale antropomorfa di corteccia che si trasforma in figura di fronte alla sua controparte vegetale, in un’equivalenza di forme tra il negativo dell’albero e il negativo della persona. Penone considera questi incontri come gesti vegetali. Nelle sue mani la forma umana viene liberata dall’albero e l’albero, a sua volta, rivela i tratti viscerali del corpo. Attraverso la scultura, Penone svela l’anima delle cose, creando un legame tra l’essenza della natura e la percezione del gesto umano.

Giuseppe Penone: Ephemeris

Giuseppe Penone: Ephemeris

In Giuseppe Penone: ephemeris we get a glimpse of his process as he explores some of the ideas behind Equivalenze.

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.