Giuseppe Penone: Universal Gestures at Galleria Borghese

Giuseppe Penone: Universal Gestures at Galleria Borghese

A modern exhibition meets classic art

Most Italian and foreign tourists may already know Giuseppe Penone’s artwork. Pieces of his art can be easily spotted in Rome’s city centre. (Take Foglie di Pietra or Leaves of Stone. Since 2017, the naturalistic 18m high sculpture stands over the crowds walking in Via del Corso in front of Palazzo Fendi.)

From March 14th to July 9th, over thirty impressive artworks from the Italian sculptor can be admired across four halls, the gardens of Uccelliera (Aviary) and Meridiana (Sundial) at the Borghese Gallery. The temporary exhibition is curated by Francesco Stocchi, a senior curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam.

Penone’s art belongs to the artistic thread of Arte Povera and it is characterised by a constant search of the connection between the natural world to the human, terrestrial life.

For the very first time, at the Borghese Gallery, art and nature meet in the secret gardens and on the museum’s ground floor to reveal the close relationship between humans and nature, between forms and materials. Thirty-six works of art find their space next to pre-existent paintings and sculptures, adding a modern touch to the gallery set.

Breath is sculpture.
The sculpture of intrusive stone,
branches growing,
the casting of bronze.

The natural world enters the Borghese Gallery in the form of real leaves in Breath of Leaves and wooden trunks in the sculptural group of Trees, but Penone’s work finds its ideal place outdoors with the magnificent golden installation Space of Light, set into the Giardino della Meridiana where the visitor is invited to look beyond the material to find a hypnotic projection into the space.

The exhibition fits particularly well into the historical gardens, presenting bronze sculptures intertwined with plants, hedges, trees and flowerbeds, leaving the visitors surprised and intrigued. Visitors can search for ceramic photographs scattered through plants and spot statues scattered in the outer space as a tangible representation of the relationship between nature and human life.

TILL JULY 9, 2023

Piazzale Scipione Borghese 5

Opening hours: from Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm

Tickets: Regular: €15

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