Giuseppe Penone

PELLE DI GRAFITE REFLESSO DI MIMETITE
2004
graphite on black paper mounted on canvas
59 7/8 x 78 3/8 x 2 inches

A torpor, like awakening, resting on the surface of the paper.
A smooth oily reflecting surface made with graphite rubbed on the paper. The contact of the skin always leaves a trace of grease on which light is reflected.
The black sign of the graphite patterns the surface; continuing the drawing, superimposing line on line carefully forever greater precision erases the drawing
and instead of obtaining an increasingly clear image it creates, in the confusion of signs, an image reflected in the mirror of graphite.
If the subject is a self-portrait, we obtain, gradually as the representation emerges, the apparition of the face reflected on the surface of the drawing.
The more you outline, describe, recount and define the reality of the subject, the more its representation is erased to give a reflection of reality.
The reflected reverses the real as in the imprint of a contact.
The surface that defines the contact of our body with the real is our skin.
The design of the skin, a skin of graphite.

The tip of the pencil mirrors the skin of the universe.

Giuseppe Penone, 2002

estimated retail value: $180,000

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courtesy of the artist and marian goodman gallery, new york
gallery website: mariangoodman.com