October 3, 2015 - Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne (MCBA) - Giuseppe Penone
October 3, 2015

Giuseppe Penone

Giuseppe Penone, Gli anni del’albero più uno (The years of the tree plus one) (detail), 1969. Ink and pencil on paper, 29.5 x 21 cm. Photo: Archivio Penone, Turin. © 2015, ProLitteris, Zurich.

Giuseppe Penone
Regards croisés

25 September 2015–3 January 2016

Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne
Palais de Rumine, place de la Riponne 6
CH-1014 Lausanne

T +41 (0)21 316 34 45
F +41 (0)21 316 34 46
info.beaux-arts [​at​] vd.ch

The Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, is presenting French-speaking Switzerland’s first exhibition by Giuseppe Penone (b. 1947, Garessio, Italy; lives and works in Turin). The exhibition has been prepared in close collaboration with the artist.

“The skin of the universe is mirrored on the tip of the pencil,
the surface of the sculpture on the skin of the hands”
–Giuseppe Penone, 2002

Every great sculptor is also a great draughtsman—and Giuseppe Penone is living proof of this. Here, the first museum exhibition by this major Arte Povera figure in French-speaking Switzerland reverses the usual practice of spotlighting Penone’s sculptures, with his preliminary drawings serving as backup. 

For this exhibition, drawing is our point of departure, with the sculptures appearing only in counterpoint: drawings by Penone himself, of course, but also works on paper from his personal collection, by names like Alberto Giacometti, Amadeo Modigliani, Giacomo Balla, Pierre Bonnard, Kazimir Malevich and Louis Soutter. There is an exchange of points of view, then, regarding different media, different creative time frames and different forms of expression. Formal likeness is a minor concern here: what these interchanges between the graphic worlds of Penone and his illustrious peers reveal are subtle elective affinities and a lesser-known, more intimate side of the Italian artist. 

The exhibition comprises close to 100 of Penone’s drawings dating from 1967 to 2006; 13 drawings by other artists; one big Verde del bosco frottage from 1984; a selection of the famous Gesto vegetale bronzes entwined around plants; the big Spazio di luce (2008), recently shown at Versailles; and a handsome figurative sculpture from 1983 which has never been exhibited before. 

The museum’s two biggest rooms are given over to the sculptures, with the other spaces—or “cabinets”—housing the drawings. The result is an alternation between the infinitely small and the infinitely large, between the idea of conceptual development and the finished work—a visual interplay between drawing and sculpture, drawings by Penone and other artists, and diametrically opposite notions of drawing: as a medium for ideas and preliminary note-taking, but also as a specific, freestanding form of expression in the dual sense of the terms dessein in French and disegno in Italian.

Giuseppe Penone. Regard croisés
Catalogue in French, edited by Bernard Fibicher, with essays by Giuseppe Penone, Didier Semin, Bernard Fibicher and Ruggero Penone.
22.5 x 29.4 cm, hard cover, 160 pages, 134 coloured illustrations.
5 Continents, Milan and Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, 2015.
Order direct from the Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts 
(postage and packing charges apply)

Giuseppe Penone at Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne
Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts de Lausanne (MCBA)
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