Giuseppe Penone


pigments and adhesive tape on paper
18 7/8 x 13 inches

Giuseppe Penone gained international attention as part of the Arte Povera movement in Italy during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Throughout his career, he has continued his thoughtful exploration of the relationship between man and nature, in many cases looking at how the human body relates to the “body” of a tree. Penone has often likened the leaves of a tree to the skin of the human body, seen here in Ombra di Terra (Shadow of Earth). To make the work, Penone used pigment and tape the pull an impression of the skin of his finger and palm, creating a vertical brown, tree-like shape. He used the same process to pull the impression of a leaf, seen in the horizontal strips of tape in the background. As in all of his work, Penone masterfully conveys a number of meanings with very few elements. Penone’s work was included in the 52nd Venice Biennale, and is included in many museum collections worldwide, including the Dallas Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museo d’arte contemporanea Castello di Rivoli, Turin; and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa.