Public Installation

The Listener

May 22 – November 21, 2021
Arsenale, Venice, Italy

Giuseppe Penone’s Idee di pietra – olmo (Ideas of Stone – Elm Tree, 2008) – The Listener has been installed in Venice as part of the 17th Biennale Architettura of La Biennale di Venezia. This year’s exhibition brings together artists and architects to explore the question “How Will We Live Together?” At just over twenty-nine feet high, Penone’s sculpture, comprising a bronze elm tree cradling a heavy stone, is partially submerged in the Venetian lagoon at the Arsenale site.

Idee di pietra – olmo (Ideas of Stone – Elm Tree), 2008

© Sebastiano Pellion di Persano

Collective exhibition

Formafantasma: Cambio

15 May – 24 October 2021

Centro per l’arte contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato, Italy

Originally set up in the Serpentine Gallery in London, the exhibition by the studio Formafantasma is renewed in the spaces of the Centro Pecci of Prato with new suggestions. The Albero in torsione sinistra (Left Twist Tree, 1988), belonging to one of Penone's most iconic series, in which a carpentry beam is stripped of its bark and excavated to reveal the original form of the tree as it grows, fully participates in the theme of the exhibition inspired by wood, a raw material that has always been employed in industry and that has the characteristic of being firstly a living material.

Albero in torsione sinistra (Left Twist Tree), 1988

© Ela Bialkowska - OKNO studio

Public Installation

Abete (Fir)

March 25 – September 12, 2021
Piazza della Signoria, Florence, Italy

On 25 March 2021, the day consecrated to the memory of the Florentine poet Dante Alighieri on the 700th anniversary of his death, Giuseppe Penone's Abete (Fir, 2013) is inaugurated in Piazza della Signoria in Florence (Italy). The trunk and branches of this gigantic tree are made of cast stainless steel and wrapped in a spiral by a grid of eighteen cast bronze elements. At just over 72 feet high, Penoneʼs sculpture is the largest ever installed in a public space in Florence and is a preview of the solo exhibition planned for July at the Uffizi Galleries.

Abete (Fir), 2013

© Archivio Penone

In Conversation

Giuseppe Penone and Hans Ulrich Obrist

January 26, 2021

Conversation between Giuseppe Penone and Hans Ulrich Obrist, artistic director of the Serpentine Galleries, London. They discuss the artist’s practice, which is deeply engaged with nature and time, as well as his outdoor installation in San Francisco. Two large-scale bronze sculptures cast from trees – La logica del vegetale (The Logic of the Vegetal, 2012) and Idee di pietra (Ideas of Stone, 2004) – are installed in Fort Mason’s Great Meadow, overlooking San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge, through March 28, 2021. A recording of the event is available on the Gagosian website.

Idee di pietra (Ideas of Stone), 2003

© Archivio Penone


Gifts to Philadelphia Museum of Art and Centre Pompidou

Giuseppe Penone has given the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris major gifts of works on paper. Each institution received more than three hundred pieces spanning five decades of the artist’s career, beginning in the late 1960s.

The work reflects the artist’s wide range of influences and the connections he draws between humans and nature in exploring the involuntary processes of breathing, growth, and aging through materials such as stones, branches, and leaves. Both institutions plan to have exhibitions by Penone in 2022.

Read more here.

Progetto per Attorno alla scultura attorno allo scultore (Project for Around the Sculpture, Around the Sculptor), 1984

© Archivio Penone