A series of muscular bronze hands wrapped around tree trunks marries the signature components of legendary Italian artist Giuseppe Penone's natural aesthetics and realist optical illusions. The artist, who broke with tradition as part of the 1960s Arte Povera movement, continues to exceed expectations with the works, titled Continuerà a crescere tranne che in quel punto or "It will continue to grow except at that point."
In the past, his works examined involuntary human processes, including aging and breathing. His seminal 70s performance, Rovesciare I propri occhi (To reverse one’s eyes), where the artist wore mirrored contact lenses that rendered him blind, exemplifies Penone's artist’s fearless use of his body to explore the limits of the human biology.
The knotted fists of each metal-worked sculpture reflects the natural light of the surroundings while the ironclad grip of the sculptures are a visual query hanging in open air as surrounding trees stand rooted in soil. Penone's series of copper hands gripping living trees in an organic, outdoor space harkens to his life-long interest in nature and general human oddities. This current series of sculptural works is in line with his signature aesthetic dedicated to examining trees and nature in relation to the degradation of the human body.
Giuseppe Penone. Instagram taken at Marian Goodman gallery, via @iamemanuela
Giuseppe Penone. Instagram taken at GAM - Civic gallery of modern and contemporary art of Turin, via @dave85bg
See more works from Giuseppe Penone on the Gagosian galleries’ website, here.