New Giuseppe Penone sculptures in Rijksmuseum gardens

A bronze tree carrying a solid block of granite between its branches, a tree trunk with water gushing out of it, and images drawn from the artist’s own forehead are among the enigmatic works of Giuseppe Penone. This summer, the annual sculpture display in the Rijksmuseum’s gardens is dedicated to Italian artist Giuseppe Penone (Garessio, 1947). It will be the first time that, in addition to a number of earlier iconic works, new work by the artist will be shown, such as ‘Vene di pietra tra i rami’ (‘Stone veins between branches’, 2015). Also a twelve meter wide screen consisting of two back-to-back mounted artworks in the Rijksmuseum’s Atrium is a world premiere: ‘Spine d’acacia’ (‘Acacia Thorns’, 2016) and Pelle di grafite-fronte (Graphite Skin, 2016), based on images drawn from the surface of Penone’s own forehead. The exhibition is on view from 10 June to 2 October 2016 in the Rijksmuseum’s gardens. Entrance is free.

Giuseppe Penone
Giuseppe Penone lives and works in Turin, Italy. Although his work is internationally renowned, it has had little exposure in the Netherlands. 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.

A garden is alive with light, colours, stones, plants. The presence of people cuts tPENONE_737_2014-06_Albero_folgorato_Firenze_digArchivio_Penone PENONE_270_Cedro_Versailles_c695_digArchivio_Penonehrough it, occupying it in a tentative and fleeting way, adding to the life of that place the easy motion of its existence. The most beautiful images in a garden have become those trees, stones and colours.
Giuseppe Penone (1998)

Sculpture Exhibition
Of the 22 works, 18 are displayed in the gardens and four in the Rijksmuseum. His iconic, more than six metre high, Cedro di Versailles (2000-2003) – a partly sawn out cedar trunk – has been given a place in the Atrium, while several more recent works are on display outside, including the 11 metre high Albero folgorato (Lightning tree, 2012). The sculptures are from the artist himself and from a private collection.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with contributions of the exhibition’s curators, Alfred Pacquement, former director of the Centre Pompidou, and Frits Scholten, the curator of sculpture at the Rijksmuseum: Penone in the Rijksmuseum gardens. Available at the museum shop and gazebo. Price €15 (NL/EN)

Fourth open air exhibition
Following on from Henry Moore (2013), Alexander Calder (2014) and MirĂł (2015), Penone in the gardens of the Rijksmuseum is the fourth in a series of five open-air exhibitions, made possible by the BankGiro Loterij and the Rijksclub.

Green pavilion
Against the backdrop of the 19th-century museum building designed by architect Cuypers, the Penone sculptures are surrounded by original formal garden styles, fragments of historic buildings and other garden sculptures. Added to the open air collection are a life-size chess board, a fountain by the contemporary Danish artist Jeppe Hein, post-war climbing frames by architect Aldo van Eyck, and one of the famous PTT telephone booths by Brinkman & Van der Vlugt (1933). Entry to the gardens is free. Daily from 9 am to 6 pm. This spring, the Rijksmuseum has started offering special guided tours of the gardens. Find out more on the website.

Summer workshop
Create your own master piece inspired by Penone’s works. For children 4 years and older. Join us daily between 12 pm and 3 pm in the tent in the gardens.

From 1 July to 28 August. Price: €2.50 per person

Rijks Lecture
Speakers: Frits Scholten, curator of sculpture at the Rijksmuseum & Alfred Pacquement, former director of the Centre Pompidou,
10 June: 2 pm – 3 pm at the Rijksmuseum Auditorium

Price: €15 per person

Penone in the Rijksmuseum gardens | 10 June to 2 October 2016
Free entry daily between 9 am – 6 pm