Image: Giuseppe Penone - Indistinti confini, Noce
Solo Exhibition

Giuseppe Penone - Indistinti confini, Noce Centre Pompidou-Metz

This year, several works by Giuseppe Penone will travel along the territory of the Grand Est region, establishing cross-border links between Metz and Sarrebrück that are dear to the Centre Pompidou-Metz. 

The forest, the mountain, the river, and the body are at the origin of Penone's work. His preferred gestures are simple: to kiss or take hold of a tree trunk in order to feel the slow process of concentric and upward growth; to find the twigs burrowed in a manufactured wooden beam by carving the wood's growth rings one by one. A living model of a perfect sculpture, the tree adapts to its environment in an exemplary fashion. Penone compares it to a skater and a tightrope walker, perfectly stable on unstable ground, defying gravity in order to catch the light. "Pump" and "lung," the tree is also a living organism which drains fluids and breathes the atmosphere.

From the Château de Versailles to the Inhotim Park in Brazil, the sculpted trees by Penone have adorned the most classical of gardens and the wildest of forests. Jointly invited by the Saarlandmuseum de Sarrebrück and the Centre Pompidou-Metz, Penone will intervene in the spring of 2020 in the public space of these two cities, implanting two twin sculptures.

Finally, to celebrate its 10 years, the Centre Pompidou-Metz is inviting Penone to take over its forum for a protracted duration. Penone will implant an unprecedented installation: the bronze cast of a walnut tree of around 15 meters high and of which certain segments and ramifications will be in white marble. The branches of the tree and the splayed framework of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, designed by Shigeru Ban, will enter into resonance, sharing the similar structure of a meshed parasol.

The growth of a plant, the melting of an alloy, and the solidification of stone: the elements brought together in Indistinct confini — Noce (Indistinct Boundaries — Walnut) form a hybrid wood both mineral and metallic, immaculate, and weathered. Penone, however, sees in these different materials the continuum of a unique material, engaged at different moments with fluidity and dispersal.

21 February 2020 - 11 January 2021

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