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Elevazione

Giuseppe Penone2000/2001

Inhotim

Inhotim

Giuseppe Penone is one of the leading representatives of the Italian group of artists who gained recognition in the late 1960s, gathered under the label of arte povera. Alongside artists from other European countries and the United States, their work was characterized by experimentation with unconventional materials and its counterpoint to the rationalism of the conceptual art then in vogue in the Anglo-Saxon world. From the outset of his career, Penone was interested in making artworks directly in nature, associating sculptural interventions with the process of tree growth. According to Penone, “instead of making works based on works by other artists, as I saw in the academy, I decided to make them based on objective things that I knew: landscape, stones of the river, trees of the forest.” Elevazione [Elevation, 2001] belongs to a later phase of his practice, when the artist had increased the complexity of his dialogue with nature through the mastery of elaborate techniques of sculpture, while preserving the same duality between the artistic and the natural phenomenon. This work is based on a mold taken from a centenary chestnut tree; after it was cast in bronze, other tree parts were welded to it. The large metal tree is fastened to the ground by steel feet and surrounded by five other trees planted beside it, which will grow over the years and come closer to the sculpture, as though supporting it and creating an architectural space to shelter it. For this installation at Inhotim, Penone decided to considerably increase the sculpture’s distance from the ground and to use the local species guaritá for the five trees planted around it.

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