giuseppe penone's illuminated gold trees at whitechapel gallery
 
giuseppe penone's illuminated gold trees at whitechapel gallery
aug 25, 2013

giuseppe penone's illuminated gold trees at whitechapel gallery

bloomberg commission: giuseppe penone
spazio di luce, whitechapel gallery installation view
photo: david parry / PA wire

 

 

 

giuseppe penone
whitechapel gallery, london
now through october 27, 2013

 

 

italian artist giuseppe penone examines our relationship with nature in the 12 meter long tree sculpture ‘spazio di luce’ for the bloomberg commission at whitechapel gallery, london. the site specific artwork was originally conceived from a fallen tree that penone found in the mountains. he made a full bronze cast of the found object, choosing the medium because its chroma and characteristics liken themselves to those of the bark of a tree. the metal cast was divided into sections and the branches from the original wood were specifically arranged so that they would act as the legs of the piece.

 

the work takes on new life, animated by the protruding twig feet that allow it to stand unassisted in the gallery. the positive of the recreation became an empty space, which penone coated in a gold colored wax. the material is first layered with a brush, then molded by hand — the fingerprint marks bearing the memory of the action that was done. the interior of the bark becomes a vessel of brilliant, glowing light, juxtaposing the organic facade with a vibrant inner illumination. 

 

giuseppe penone's illuminated gold trees at whitechapel gallery
the bloomberg commission: giuseppe penone
spazio di luce, whitechapel gallery installation view
photo: david parry / PA wire

 

 

giuseppe penone's illuminated gold trees at whitechapel gallery
the bloomberg commission: giuseppe penone
spazio di luce, whitechapel gallery installation view
photo: david parry / PA wire

 

 

trees have been a focal point for penone throughout his career. many of his earliest work — that survive now only as photographs — took place in the forests near turin or his home town of garessio in italy. the images expose the intimate relationship penone maintains with nature, and how closely he works with bark and branches as a medium.

 

 

giuseppe penone's illuminated gold trees at whitechapel gallery
giuseppe penone, ‘cedro di versailles’, 2000-2003
cedar wood, 630 x 160 cm
photographic documentation courtesy the artist
photo © archivio penone

 

 

giuseppe penone's illuminated gold trees at whitechapel gallery
giuseppe penone, ‘nel legno’, 2008
larch wood, 350 x 43 x 41.5 cm
courtesy the artist and marian goodman gallery, N.Y./paris
photo © archivio penone

 

 

giuseppe penone's illuminated gold trees at whitechapel gallery
giuseppe penone, ‘continuerà a crescere tranne che in quel punto’, 1968
documentation of the growth of the tree in 1978, courtesy the artist
photo © archivio penone

 

 

giuseppe penone's illuminated gold trees at whitechapel gallery
giuseppe penone, ‘idee di pietra’, 2003
bronze, grey granite river stone
830 x 250 x 220 cm
installed for dOCUMENTA (13) in auepark, kassel, 2010
courtesy the artist / photo © Archivio Penone

 

  • I have pictures from this display when it was in the gardens at Versailles this summer. It’s very interesting, but with the large tree at the end overlooking the incredible gardens, the image was far more striking than it is in a gallery.

    Paul Jones
  • muy interesante
    very interesting

    manuel

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