Giuseppe Penone: Ideas of Stone at Madison Square Park
Madison Square Park recently unveiled three new sculpture works by Giuseppe Penone in the installation “Ideas of Stone (Idee di pietra).” Penone is part of the Italian Arte Povera movement, and his works are regarded for their altruistic exploration of the relationship between man and nature.
Channeling the ever-naturalist Thoreau, Penone created three bronze, leafless trees that elicit internal conflict matched with an uncanny sense of tranquility. They tower 30 feet high, titled Triplice (Triple), Idee di pietra – 1303 Kg di luce (Ideas of stone – 1303 Kg of light), and Idee di pietra – Olmo (Ideas of stone – Elm). Their exposed roots and bases look crushed under the weight of boulders perched in their upper branches or tangled in the lowest hanging limbs.
“It was a very long process because each part is sectioned,” said the artist. “For example, these pieces have 22 parts that are assembled together, and we can disassemble them for transport. It had to be very easy to assemble, if not [the project] would be impossible.” The boulders are held by iron rods connected to the bronze structures.
“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,” said Debbie Landau, President of the Madison Square Park Conservancy.
Penone’s installation will remain on view through February 9, 2014.