Giuseppe Penone. 2013. Photo: Luc Castel

Artist talk: Giuseppe Penone

29.5 2024


The Princess Estelle Cultural Foundation has selected Giuseppe Penone as its Artist of the Year. Hear him in a conversation with Moderna Museet’s Director Gitte Ørskou about his new work for the foundation’s sculpture park at Royal Djurgården in Stockholm and about his extensive work in the arts.

Giuseppe Penone was born in 1947 in the village of Garessio in northern Italy. He had his artistic breakthrough in the late 1960s as one of the representatives of the Arte Povera movement and has since had an international and influential career. As early as 1970, the then director of Moderna Museet, Pontus Hultén, acquired Penone’s tree sculpture ‘Albero di 12 metri’ for the museum’s collection, and the characteristic work has been included in many exhibitions since then.

Through his sculptures as well as other media, Penone has explored concepts such as time, man and nature, and his work highlights how everything in the world is interconnected. He is sometimes described as a master of materials, with the ability to visualise the invisible and embody the impossible.

Giuseppe Penone has created a new work for the Princess Estelle Cultural Foundation’s sculpture park on Djurgården, which he has entitled ‘The Inner Flow of Life’. The work will be the fifth permanent sculpture in the park and will be inaugurated on 30 May.

In connection with the opening, Giuseppe Penone is coming to Stockholm and Moderna Museet. In a conversation with the museum’s director Gitte Ørskou, we will hear more about the new work on Djurgården and his extensive achievements in art. We will also show a series of short films by and with the artist called ‘Ephemeris’.

In its statement, the artistic council of the Princess Estelle Cultural Foundation motivates the selection of Giuseppe Penone as Artist of the Year 2024 as follows:

Over the past five decades, Giuseppe Penone has explored the relationship between humans and nature in his groundbreaking artistic practice. A recurring motif is the living, growing tree as it relates to the human body. In his sculptures, Penone uses natural elements to emphasize the materials’ unique characteristics through simple gestures that draw our attention to the complex processes that surround us.
Giuseppe Penone, The Inner Flow of Life © Archivio Penone

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Artist talk: Giuseppe Penone