Giuseppe Penone
Italian, born 1947
High auction record
$1m, Phillips, 2015
Blue chip
Represented by internationally recognized galleries.
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
Giuseppe Penone: Selected Works,
Giuseppe Penone: Being the River, Repeating the Forest,
Nasher Sculpture Center
Giuseppe Penone: Ideas of Stone (Idee di pietra),
Madison Square Park

Since the late 1960s, Giuseppe Penone has challenged the boundaries between our bodies and nature in his arresting performances, sculptures, installations, and works on paper. A member of the radical Arte Povera group who sought to smash the divide between art and life in their unconventional works, Penone first gained attention for his landmark performance, Rovesciare I propri occhi (To reverse one’s eyes) (1970). Wearing a pair of mirrored contact lenses, which reflected and blinded him to the surrounding landscape, he picked his way forward with his feet and hands, emphasizing his body’s connection to the earth. Such performances eventually gave way to sculptures, mostly focused on trees. Exquisitely attuned to volume, mass, and space, Penone crafts trees out of materials like bronze and wood, revealing the disarming similarities between bark and skin, branches and limbs, trunk and …

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