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Simple Thing and Natural Actions:
A Conversation with Giuseppe Penone

by Karlyn De Jongh

Giuseppe Penone addresses the contact between man and nature. His conceptual and poetic work starts from tactile experience and attempts to understand and reflect on reality; it aims to use and reveal already existing forms and natural materials, such as wood and stone, in new ways. Persistence and duration are important qualities for him: natural materials live in the present, last through time, and frequently demonstrate our relatively short existence. According to Penone, man is nature, and nature itself would be the perfect work. But he adds that art is language and therefore imperfect: it is a means to affirm one’s identity.

Tre pietre, 2006.
Bronze, steel, and stone, 3 elements, 7.5 x 20 x 14 in. each.

Photo: Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, NY



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