Giuseppe Penone (b. 1947)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more
Giuseppe Penone (b. 1947)

Svolgere la propria pelle (To Unroll One's Skin) (i) Progetto per la dilatazione di una sezione del collo (ii) Progetto per la dilatazione di una testa nel muro (iii)-(iv) Progetto per la dilatazione di un braccio nel muro (v) Progetto per rovesciare gli occhi

Details
Giuseppe Penone (b. 1947)
Svolgere la propria pelle (To Unroll One's Skin)
(i) Progetto per la dilatazione di una sezione del collo
(ii) Progetto per la dilatazione di una testa nel muro
(iii)-(iv) Progetto per la dilatazione di un braccio nel muro
(v) Progetto per rovesciare gli occhi
(i) signed, titled and dated 'Progetto per la dilatazione di una sezione del collo Giugno 1970 Giuseppe Penone' (on the reverse)
(ii) signed, titled and dated 'Progetto per la dilatazione di una testa nel muro Giugno 1970 Giuseppe Penone' (on the reverse)
(iii)-(iv) signed, titled and dated 'Progetto per la dilatazione di un braccio nel muro Giugno 1970 Giuseppe Penone' (on the reverse)
(v) signed, titled and dated 'Progetto per rovesciare gli occhi Giugno 1970 Giuseppe Penone' (on the reverse)
(i)-(v) photo collage
(i)-(iii), (v) 15 5/8 x 11 5/8in. (39.8 x 29.7cm.)
(iv) 11 5/8 x 15 5/8in. (29.7 x 39.8cm.)
Executed in 1970, this work is from an edition of five
Provenance
Galleria Giorgio Persano, Turin.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in the 1980's.
Exhibited
Verona, Studio La Città, Il respiro nascosto delle cose, 2001.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

Lot Essay

The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by the artist.


For Giuseppe Penone, the skin is a form of artwork in its own right, a chronicle in which every furrow, every crease, every wrinkle records the experiences of our past, and our exposure to the world around us. In the five panels of this work, that border, that zone of contact between ourselves and our surroundings, is explored in various ways. Several of these pictures serve to illustrate and reveal the thought process behind one of Penone's most fundamental practices, by which he records in various ways impressions of his own skin, sometimes magnifying it and showing it in picture form, often painstakingly drawn out in graphite. Penone has recorded the impressions of his own skin in various forms over the years, including a book in 1970 and panels over a window exhibited at Dokumenta 5 in Kassel in 1972, the year from which these five photographs date.
By contrast, the fifth panel, Progetto per rovesciare gli occhi, shows perhaps the most iconic image of Penone himself, wearing mirrored contact lenses. In this project, Penone wore the lenses so as to be blinded to all but the reflection of his own eyes, his visual input becoming hugely and deliberately limited. It is only in the photographs such as this, showing the lenses, that the sights that would have met his eyes were imperfectly recorded.
As Penone himself explained regarding this project:
'Mirrored contact lenses cover the iris and the pupil, wearing them makes me blind
.... placed on the eye, they indicate a point of division
of separation from what surrounds me.
Like the skin they are a boundary element, the interruption of a
Channel
of information that uses light as a medium.
Their mirroring quality causes
the information that reaches my eyes to be reflected
...When the eyes, covered by mirrored contact lenses,
reflect into space the images that they collect with the habitual
motions of observing, the ability to see is extended in time
and the possibility of seeing in the future images collected by the eyes
in the past
is entrusted to the uncertain outcome of photographic recording' (Penone, G. Maraniello (ed.), Giuseppe Penone: Writings 1968-2008, exh. cat., Bologna, 2008, p. 59).

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