Discovering Giuseppe Penone at Galleria Borghese in Rome
The Galleria Borghese in Rome once again opens to the contemporary, with an exhibition that is a tribute to the unchanging vitality of sculpture and to a maestro of Arte Povera, Giuseppe Penone. The exhibition “Giuseppe Penone. Universal Gestures”, curated by Francesco Stocchi, will be hold at the venue from March 14 to May 28, 2023. Thirty-six works created between the 1970s and the early 2000s will be showed in a path through the “Salone di Mariano Rossi”, the “Sala di Apollo e Dafne”, the “Sala degli Imperatori” and the “Sala di Enea e Anchise” to expand into the “Giardino dell'Uccelliera” and exceptionally into the “Giardino della Meridiana”.
The exhibition starts from the search for something that is not present in the Gallery's splendid spaces, offering a new reading of that relationship between landscape and sculpture that the ancient statuary in the museum's collection tells us about according to classical canons. A path that stands in perfect continuity with the research on the relationship between Art and Nature that characterizes the direction of Francesca Cappelletti.
The exhibition includes nuclei of works that are lesser known or iconographically little associated with Penone's work, such as Sguardo vegetale, and others exhibited for the first time in thematic groups-Biffio di foglie and Bpirare l'ombra-inserted into the space as autonomous and original presences. In the absence of mythology in Penone's works, narrative shifts its axis, and the relationship between natural time and historical past gives rise to a new uncertain present.
Distancing himself from any possible formal or symbolic confrontation with the Gallery, Penone's work observes matter by revealing the forms it conceals, with the intention of reactivating that natural osmotic exchange between the museum and the surrounding park, which has inspired so many of the works part of his collection.
The artist's interventions do not disrupt that unique balance between forms and architecture that characterizes the Gallery, but renews that all-Baroque play that intertwined landscape, nature and sculpture, activating a new dialogue, presenting an interrogation of sculpture, revealing its historical and contemporary evolution.
Penone's research investigates the proximity between human and plant nature, a central element of his work, and gives rise to a reflection on his language and relationship with Time and History, masterfully preserved in the Gallery. In this mirroring, the vital component of the materials used by the artist alternates with the historical time of those of classical statuary, going in search of the strictly necessary. A transversal and subjective gaze that aims at a renewed balance, guided by pure admiration.