Marian Goodman Gallery is delighted to announce two simultaneous exhibitions of works by Giuseppe Penone at the London and Paris galleries. These new exhibitions bring together a selection of works related to the sense of touch and which take their form from specific gestures made by the artist’s hand. Laurent Busine notes: “There is no gesture more intensely Giuseppe Penone’s than the fist: that is, the quantity that a hand can grasp, or that a hand can squeeze and crush, that a hand can hold and keep, or that a hand can stroke and caress.” The works presented in both exhibitions (the titles of which refer to past, future and present) reveal that for Giuseppe Penone gestures and tactile perceptions are connected to individuality and time: “A form without a human gesture is a collective present; with a gesture, it is an individual present.”
The London gallery presents works emblematic of Penone’s interest in the metaphysical relationship of his body to the living ecosystem. A primary example of this, Trattenere 6, 8, 12 anni di crescita (Continuerà a crescere tranne che in quel punto) (2004-2016) is installed in the lower gallery. In 1968, Penone attached a bronze cast of his hand to the trunk of a young tree. 6 years later, he cast this tree in situ, and again at years 8 and 12, recording the growing symbiosis of his hand and the tree enveloping it. Trattenere 6, 8, 12 anni di crescita (Continuerà a crescere tranne che in quel punto) comprises these three casts made in the past 12 years. While the artist’s grasping hand hinders the natural growth, each tree adapts to the constraints of the metallic touch, subsequently embracing and absorbing the hand. Here, both the human body and the tree are simultaneously metamorphosed to become one inseparable entity. Its sculptural identity continues to organically evolve and link its past, present and future.