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

Ripetere il bosco - Frammento 28 (Repeat the wood - Fragment 28)

Giuseppe Penone (B. 1947)
Ripetere il bosco - Frammento 28 (Repeat the wood - Fragment 28)
pine wood
109 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 5 3/4in. (278 x 32 x 14.5cm.)
Executed in 2007
Haunch of Venison, London.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
London, Haunch of Venison, Giuseppe Penone, 2011 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
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.
These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Alessandro Diotallevi
Alessandro Diotallevi

Lot Essay

A shelter, a ceiling of trees, a floor of trees, a wall of trees.
If you look at a ceiling, a floor, a wall of wood,
you see the trunks, branches, leaves.
It is helpful if you can understand from the design of the wood the shape of the trunk,
of the branches, of every single tree.
The glance that runs along the wood's structure, passes across the shape of the tree as insects have done' (Penone, G. Maraniello (ed.), Giuseppe Penone: Writings 1968-2008,, Bologna, 2008, p. 105).

Created in 2007, Ripetere il bosco - frammento 28 is one of Giuseppe Penone's Alberi, or 'Trees', which rank amongst his most recognised and celebrated works. Indeed, Ripetere il bosco - frammento 28 was itself the centrepiece of an exhibition held at the Haunch of Venison gallery, London, in 2011, where his works were shown alongside those of the British artist, Richard Long. More recently, Penone has garnered press attention and acclaim with his intervention in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles, where last year he was invited to install a number of his works.

Penone is interested in nature, in experience, in seeing the too-often hidden poetry in the world around us. Looking at Ripetere il bosco - frammento 28, this underpinning concept becomes clear: this work comprises a piece of timber that has been taken and slowly and carefully peeled back in parts in order to reveal the appearance of the tree at a certain age. As the wood comes from a tree that has grown, ring upon ring, over the years, Penone has been able to identify a single ring as a target year and to work his way back to it, cutting and chiselling away in order to expose the wavering antenna-like form of the sapling; the whorls within the surface of the wood are revealed as the cross-sections of branches projecting from the young tree. A sense of scale is ensured by the fact that this painstaking excavation has been limited to only a part of the tree: much of it remains encased, yet inferred, within the bulk of the timber itself.

By appreciating the nature of Ripetere il bosco - frammento 28, the viewer is forced to become more aware of the narrative of all the wood in the surrounding world. Penone himself has described, '... the forests, alleys, woods, gardens, parks, orchards with their trees enclosed in doors, tables, floors, floorboards, beams, ships, carts...' (Penone, G. Maraniello (ed.), Giuseppe Penone: Writings 1968-2008,, Bologna, 2008, p. 116).

That the rings of a tree can chronicle its own history provides a fascinating analogue for our own life. The shape of the tree is dictated by everything that happens to and around it: 'You rediscover a part of its existence, of its life; the arrangement of the branches shows us which side was exposed to the sun and which was in the shade. It is like travelling back through the sequences of a film, frame after frame. Little by little you discover the history of the tree enclosed and memorised in the wood' (Penone, quoted in Giuseppe Penone: Sculture di linfa, exh. cat., Venice, 2007, p. 214). This is in itself a revelation; at the same time, it provides an understanding for the way that experience, contact with the world, and contact with the community around us, shapes our own development. It is for this reason that Penone has shown such a fascination in the way that human skin contains its own patterns, themselves an oblique writing that evidences the life led. The wrinkles in skin, the veins in marble and the branches of a tree like Ripetere il bosco - frammento 28 are all forms of writing, of artistic mark-making in the slowly-unfolding work of art that is a life, or in a wider context, nature.

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