Art Press Releases

Sep 26 - Feb 9, 2014

Mad. Sq. Art: Giuseppe Penone

For Immediate Release
July 4, 2013

MADISON SQUARE PARK CONSERVANCY’S
MAD. SQ. ART

PRESENTS
GIUSEPPE PENONE:
IDEAS OF STONE (IDEE DI PIETRA)

September 26, 2013 – February 9, 2014

Site-specific installation of
three monumental, 30-foot tall bronze trees
to complement Madison Square Park’s natural landscape

New York—Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Mad. Sq. Art announces a new sculptural installation for fall 2013 by renowned Italian artist Giuseppe Penone, consisting of three monumental, 30-foot tall bronze trees. Ideas of Stone (Idee di pietra), featuring Penone’s signature manipulation of the trees’ natural forms, will interact with Madison Square Park’s lush landscape to highlight the relationships amongst man, sculpture and nature. The installation will remain on view daily from September 26, 2013 through February 9, 2014 in Madison Square Park.

Throughout his 40-year career, Penone has employed natural materials and forms in an exploration of the contrasting and fundamental relationships between man and nature. Penone was a member of the Italian Arte Povera movement, which was comprised of artists who sought to dissolve divisions between art and life by using commonplace subjects and materials in their work. Trees as living sculpture is a recurring theme for Penone. He often manipulates these natural forms by twisting, deconstructing, hollowing, and uprooting the organic figures. He incorporates traces of fingerprints, nails, wires, carvings, and precariously placed boulders as remnant evidence of the sculptures’ manmade composition and the effect of human interaction with the natural world. Penone addresses concepts of weight, balance, and scale, while merging the manmade and the organic.

President of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, Debbie Landau comments: “With this, the Park’s twenty-seventh exhibition of outdoor sculpture, we are honored to present Giuseppe Penone, an esteemed artist of international stature. Penone’s work may be best-known to European audiences, and the opportunity to display his towering bronze trees in New York is a tribute to his unique vision which complements the natural environment of the Park’s foliage as the seasons transition from fall to winter.”

Artist Giuseppe Penone states: “It is with great anticipation that I have planned for the exhibition of my work in Madison Square Park. A tree summarizes in an exemplary way the contrast between two forces: the force of gravity and the weight of life we are part of. The need and the search for balance, which exists in every living being to counteract the force of gravity, is evident in every step and in every small action of our lives. It is a river stone that appears amid the branches of a tree. A stone suspended amid the branches of a tree, separated from the soil by a structure that is not land and is not air, a stone that lies between the force of gravity and the force of the attraction of light.”


About the Artist:

Giuseppe Penone (b. 1947) lives and works in Turin and Paris. Penone was the recipient of the Rolf Schock Prize for Visual Arts in 2001 and has exhibited internationally at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Documenta 13, Germany; Musée des Arts Contemporains, Belgium; Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy; the Venice Biennial; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Jardin des Tuileries, Paris; La Reggia di Venaria Reale, Torino, Italy; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; Tate Gallery of Modern Art, London; and the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan.

Penone’s recent solo exhibitions include Giuseppe Penone: Le Corps D’Un Jardin (2013), Galerie Marian Goodman (Paris, France); Giuseppe Penone (2013), Kunstmuseum Winterthur (Winterthur, Switzerland); Penone Versailles (2013), Chateau de Versailles (Versailles, France); and Giuseppe Penone: Entre les lignes (2013), Chapelle du Méjan (Arles, France). Selected group exhibitions include Morandi and Casorati in the De Fornaris Collection, From Workshop to Work (2013), Italian Cultural Institute (New York, NY); Neunzehnhundertsiebzig. Material, Orte, Denkprozesse (2013), Kunstmuseum Luzern (Luzern, Switzerland); and Turbulences II (2013), Villa Empain, Boghossian Foundation (Brussels, Belgium). He was selected for the 2012 Bloomberg Commission at the Whitechapel Gallery, London.

Giuseppe Penone is represented by Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris.


About Mad. Sq. Art and Madison Square Park Conservancy:

Mad. Sq. Art is the free, contemporary art program presented by the Madison Square Park Conservancy.

Since 2004, Mad. Sq. Art has commissioned and presented more than twenty premier installations in Madison Square Park by acclaimed artists ranging in practice and media. Mad. Sq. Art has exhibited works by artists including Bill Beirne, Jim Campbell, Richard Deacon, Mark di Suvero, Bill Fontana, Ernie Gehr, Orly Genger, Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder, Antony Gormley, Jene Highstein, Tadashi Kawamata, Mel Kendrick, Sol LeWitt, Olia Lialina & Dragan Espenschied, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Charles Long, Jacco Olivier, Roxy Paine, Jaume Plensa, Shannon Plumb, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Alison Saar, Jessica Stockholder, Leo Villareal, and William Wegman.

Major support for Mad. Sq. Art is provided by the Charina Endowment Fund, Liane Ginsberg, Agnes Gund, Toby Devan Lewis, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Sorgente Group of America, Tiffany & Co., and Anonymous. Substantial support is provided by the Irving Harris Foundation, The Sol LeWitt Fund for Artist Work, the Henry Luce Foundation, Melissa S. Meyer, Ronald A. Pizzuti, The Rudin Family, the Joseph S. and Diane H. Steinberg Charitable Trust, John L. Thomson, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch, and Tishman Speyer. Major exhibition support for Giuseppe Penone’s Ideas of Stone (Idee di pietra) is provided by Marian Goodman Gallery, New York/Paris.

Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of Mad. Sq. Art. Ace Hotel New York is the Official Hotel Partner of the Madison Square Park Conservancy. Mad. Sq. Art is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. The Madison Square Park Conservancy is a public/private partnership with the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation.

Join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram via the hashtag #MadSqArt

For more information on the Madison Square Park Conservancy and its programs, please visit http://madisonsquarepark.org.

Photo Credit: Giuseppe Penone’s Ideas of Stone (Idee di pietra) in Madison Square Park, New York. Photograph by James Ewing Photography. © Giuseppe Penone.

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