Last year, when we were in Amsterdam for a short holiday, we saw an exhibition of sculptures by Joan Miro in the gardens of the Rijksmuseum. This year there was another exhibition of works by the Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone. There were 18 sculptures displayed in the garden, with another 4 inside the main building.
Penone’s work – both his early performances, his sculptures, drawings and numerous writings – from the beginning of his artistic career (in 1968, as the youngest member of the Arte Povera movement), expresses a deep connection with nature and its inexorable forces. He is particularly fascinated by natural growth and processes of change, which are often obscured by people’s frenzied existence. Trees are the most important and recurring motif in his work, and also play a leading role in the Rijksmuseum exhibition.
And the “connection with nature” was clearly evident in the works on display which featured trees and rock
In this piece the marble has been carved in a way to resemble twisted tree roots or blood vessels which appear to be part of the stone. A fusion of animal or vegetable with mineral
This tree, cast in bronze, looks as if it has been struck by lightening revealing an inner golden core
An upside down tree
The leaves of root
This one was a little creepy
To breathe the shadow
These were my favourites pieces – Vegetal Gestures – anthropomorphic sculptures cast in bronze which made so it looks like they’re formed from bark