In the framework of the International Fair of Contemporary Art, Giuseppe Penone magnifies the Palais d'Iéna (16th arrondissement) with Arte Povera's poetic and enigmatic works. The iconic Italian artist is exhibiting a monumental plant installation, as well as two unpublished sculptures. An ode to nature that pays homage to Auguste Perret's architectural masterpiece.

Installation Matrix di linfa [Sap Matrix] results from a long process of creation. In fact, to give life to his work, Giuseppe Penone digs in the wood of a century-old conifer in the French Alps until he extracts from his trunk the material equivalent to eighty years of growth. The central fault of the two entities of the installation is filled with red plant resin decorated with terracotta elements. The raised set rests on the branches of the tree and a huge carpet of leather. The installation, designed from organic material and imprints of the body of the artist, then recreates links between man and nature.

Giuseppe Penone installs his work in the center of the huge hypostyle hall of the Palais d'Iéna. On either side of the slender columns, the monumental sculpture imposes itself alongside two anthropomorphic sculptures of the series "Pensieri di foglie". Listed in this classic architectural setting, Penone's creations revive a certain heritage of art history.

Visible until 24 October 2019, the installation meets the proportions and textures of the building of Auguste Perret. The organicity of the sculptures echoes the anthropomorphic nature of the building. The tones, as well as the materials used, interact subtly with the pink marble and green porphyry concretes, the moldings, the vegetal motifs, the columns and the logic of a realization in which "the concrete is sufficient to itself" as Auguste Perret assured.

A fascinating installation in situ that pushes us to reflect on our relationship to the environment, architectural and natural.

To learn more, visit the site of the Palais d'Iéna, Economic, Social and Environmental Council

Photographs: Rebecca Fanuele © Palais d'Iena, architect Auguste Perret, UFSE, SAIF / Courtesy Archivio Penone and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, London

Léa Pagnier

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