Giuseppe Penone
Luce e ombra

A 14.5 m-high tree made of bronze, granite and gold has taken root at MCBA.

In the museum’s main hall, the Italian artist Giuseppe Penone sculpture proclaims the spirit of the site while immediately making clear its embrace of the world of art. The piece is fashioned from the raw conditions that underpin the visible, namely light and shade.

Luce e ombra is a gift to MCBA and its visitors from the gallery owner Alice Pauli. Dating from 2011, Penone’s sculpture, the first work to have been installed in the new MCBA, took shape from a casting of a real tree. The leaves of the “globe” nestled in the tree’s branches are formed from 24-carat gold leaf. The tree weighs 3,500 kg and is made up of 13 elements, i.e., 11 branches; a trunk stretching over 10 m and weighing nearly 2,000 kg; and an 800 kg granite sphere.

Giuseppe Penone: “The tree soars towards the sky and its leaves form a large spherical shape meant to capture a maximum amount of light. That’s why its leaves are gold foil. The bronze, on the other hand, is an element that is subjected to the force of gravity, which points us towards the depths of the earth, towards darkness”. Giuseppe Penone (born 1947 in Garessio; lives and works in Turin) is associated with the Arte povera movement, which has sought to return art to its fundamentals by encouraging reflection on the relationship between nature and culture.

Pictures :

Editing : MCBA, Loïse Cuendet

G. Penone in the Collection