The veins of water that pour from the earth flow in trickles that merge, like the branches in the trunk, like the fingers in the palm of a hand, like the bronze in the matrix of a tree.
Most of us look at a tree and see a tree. When Italian Art Povera protagonist Giuseppe Penone looks at the natural world around him, he sees canvas, clay and the makings of art.
Known for his powerful large-scale representations of nature, Penone’s early performance-based works were inspired by the forests near his native village of Garessio, in Piedmont, where he interacted with trees, water, and marble. Over a fifty-year international career, he went on to use all sorts of unconventional materials and forms (the calling card of Art Povera) to create an expansive body of work that encompasses sculpture, performance, and photography. The themes he returns to repeatedly are our involuntary processes: respiration, growth, and aging.
Until mid-November, you can check out an exhibition of Giuseppe Penone’s works - Impronte di corpi nell’aria / Bodies Imprinted in the Air - made between the early 1970s and 2021, at the Gagosian Gallery’s Athenian outpost in Kolonaki.