Giuseppe Penone was born in 1947 in Garessio, Italy. He currently lives and works between Paris and Turin. After studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Turin, he started out in the Arte Povera circles. His work concentrates on nature and natural process, on the relationship between man and his environment, and between the human body and material. The series, Alberi, dates from the 1960s: in it, the artist carved beams of wood into the form of trunks, thus inverting the industrial process that made the tree a beam to be used for constrution. In the 1970s, Penone’s work focused mainly on the body and its relationship with the outside world. In Rovesciare i propri ochi (1970), the artist wore mirrored contact lenses which on the one hand reflected the landscape and on the other grafted it onto his own body. In the 1990s, Penone launched the series Anatomie, consisting of blocks of marble with mineral and anthropomorphic veins on their surfaces.
Recent exhibitions dedicated to Penone’s work include those at: Marian Goodman, New York (2015), Musée de Grenoble (2014) and MAMbo, Bologna (2008). In 2007 Penone co-represented Italy at the 52nd Venice Biennale along with Francesco Vezzoli. His works were shown at Punta della Dogana in the exhibition “Prima Materia” (3013-15) and at Palazzo Grassi in “The World Belongs to You” (2011-12), “Italics” (2008-2009) and “Where are We Going?” (2006).