Indistinti confini – Noce, Giuseppe Penone

ExhibitionsIndistinti confini – Noce, Giuseppe Penone

From 21st February 2020 to 11th January 2021

Locations :
Category : Exhibitions
Public : All ages

All along the year 2020 several works by the artist Giuseppe Penone will travel over the territory of the Grand Est Region, establishing between Metz and Sarrebrück cross-border links dear to the Centre Pompidou-Metz ever since its collaboration with the Saarlandmuseum in 2016 on the occasion of the exhibition Entre deux Horizons.

Born in 1947, in Italy's Piedmont region, Giuseppe Penone has been exploring materials, forms and processes inspired by nature. As early as the end of the 1960's, the sculptor shared the reflections of artists principally active between Turin and Rome, united under the banner of Arte Povera by the art critic Germano Celant. All of them worked from raw materials, from pure energies, from everyday experiences or linguistic action. Faced with the collapse of the Italian economic miracle, as with the development of a consumer society and cultural industries, the "poor art" that they created, aspired towards radical austerity, to a reduction of means down to the essential, to a nomadism outside of institutions. An assumed simplicity, which prefigures current practices, eager to project sobriety.

The forest, the mountain, the river, the body are at the origin of Giuseppe Penone's work. His preferred gestures are simple: to kiss or take hold of a tree trunk in order to feel the slow process of concentric and upward growth; find the twigs burrowed in a manufactured wooden beam, by carving one by one the wood's growth rings... A living model of a perfect sculpture, the tree adapts to its environment in an exemplary fashion. The artist compares it to a skater and a tightrope walker, perfectly stable on unstable ground, defying gravity in order to catch the light. « Pump » and « lung », the tree is also a living organism which drains fluids and breathes the atmosphere.

From the Château de Versailles to the Inhotim Park in Brazil, the sculpted trees by Giuseppe Penone have adorned the most classical of gardens as well as the wildest of forests. Jointly invited by the Saarlandmuseum de Sarrebrück and the Centre Pompidou- Metz, the artist will intervene in the spring of 2020 in the public space of these two cities, in order to implant two twin sculptures: the bronze casts of trees, holding in their branches a river stone, of which the form is suggestive of a skull will signify the emergence of a thought. (Idee di Pietra, « Stone's ideas »). In Sarrebrück, the implanted tree, close to the Saarlandmuseum will be surrounded by Jaumont stones, recognisable by their typical golden hue from Metz. In Metz, the tree will be accompanied by pink sandstone from the Vosges, specific to the region of La Sarre. A geological dialogue will thus be established between the two cities.

Finally, to celebrate its 10 years, le Centre Pompidou-Metz is inviting Giuseppe Penone to take over its Forum for a protracted duration. The artist will implant in this freely accesible space, largely open to the exterior and remarkably high, an unprecedented installation: the bronze cast of a walnut tree of around 15 metres high and of which certain segments and ramifications will be in white marble. The branches of the tree and the splayed framework of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, designed by Shigeru Ban, will enter into resonance, sharing the similar structure of a meshed parasol. Plant growth, melting of an alloy and solidification of stone: the elements brought together in Indistinct confini – Noce (« Indistinct Frontiers - – Walnut ») form a hybrid wood both mineral and metallic, immaculate, and weathered the artist however sees in these different materials the continuum of a unique material, engaged at different moments with fluidity and dispersal.


Giuseppe Penone's interventions benefit from grants from Interreg V A- Grande Région : project "NOE-NOAH", and from the support of Constellations – City of Metz.
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