|Giuseppe Penone, Le Foglie Delle Radici,|
2011, bronze, plant, and earth
Penone's sculptures definitely don't have the in-your-face spectacle that the work of Koons and Murakami would have had. And yet, by the time I'd experienced these monumental, quiet works I was a fan of the artist. The sculptures are a strange fusion of bronze and natural materials, often combined in a way that make it hard to determine where the bronze ends and nature begins. I was also frequently delighted with the wonder of the installation. Many of these works involve very large trees. I can only imagine the efforts made to place these trees in a way that makes them look like they've been a part of Versailles for years. That brings me to my final point about the work; these sculptures feel surprisingly at home among the meticulously tended plants, fountains, and sculptures of Versailles. Their unexpected view of nature feels like a perfect contemporary addition to the artistry of the traditional gardens.
Sure, if I had to pick I'd choose to see Koons or Murakami at Versailles. But I'm happy to have been introduced to the inspiring sculptures of Giuseppe Penone's and I will actively seek out his work in the future. Here are a few photos from the installation.
|Giuseppe Penone, Albero Folgorato,|
|Giuseppe Penone, Elevazione,|
2011, bronze and trees
|Versailles Penone, installation view|
|Giuseppe Penone, Spazio di Luce, 2008, bronze|