Saturday, March 26, 2016

Giuseppe Penone at Gagosian Hong Kong

The exhibition ‘Leaves of Stone’ opened at the Gagosian HK in January 2016 presenting art that was as poetic as the exhibition title suggested.
In Foglie di pietra, several freestanding pieces comprised trees cast in bronze, their branches entwined, embracing stone architectural fragments that had been carved into decorative, classical acanthus leaves.

Another series, Indistinti confine, featured marble trees, their limbs removed and replaced with bronze knots. Sharp, rusting spikes appeared to pierce the trees in specific places, from where the rust seemed to bleed down and into the marble trunks.
A large drawing took up one entire wall comprised of thorns, thousands of them arranged as though to describe a pair of lips – Spine d’acacia.

Riflesso del bronzo - a highly polished wall-mounted bronze mirror reminds us that mirrors in antiquity presented to the viewer a warm, almost sun-drenched reflection. The mirror was accompanied by its ‘reflection’, a casting that was then itself cast and so on until there were the 8 versions we can see in the exhibition.

Through handcrafted stone and marble Penone comments on the millennia-old relationship between mankind and nature and between past and present cultures and throughout his work he achieves a poetry that takes on physical form.