The Bloomberg Commission: Giuseppe Penone: Spazio di Luce

4 September 2012 -
27 October 2013
Gallery 2

+ Share

At the heart of Giuseppe Penone’s (b. 1947) work is a recognition of our inseparable ties with nature. For this commission, Penone has drawn upon the ancient method of lost wax casting to create a twelve metre bronze tree with a radiant gold-leafed interior. Spazio di Luce (2012) could easily be mistaken for a life-size cast, however where there was once a tree now there is a void.

The inside of the cast replicates the tree’s bark while the finger prints on the outside protect the memory of the many hands involved in the sculpture’s making. This fusion of bark and hand prints continues Penone’s career-long concern with setting the human body in dialogue with the organic world which it inhabits.

Associated with the legendary group of Arte Povera in Italy in the 1960s, Penone’s work over the past four decades has contributed to key developments in sculpture, including site specific installation, performance and land art.

An accompanying display of archive material traces Penone’s historic works, alongside a film of the artist at work in his Turin studio.

Admission free

Read more about the exhibition (pdf)
Read more about the Giuseppe Penone archive display (pdf)
Click here to buy a copy of the Giuseppe Penone catalogue

Giuseppe Penone Spring Events Programme

7 May Talk: Michael Craig-Martin: To Make a Tree
18 May Film: Screening Nature
25 May Urban Ecology Tree Trail
30 May Film: Places of Work: Creativity and Place
6 June First Thursday Folklore
7 June Discussion: The Botanical Imagination 
27 June Talk: Charles Avery: To Make a Tree

Find Out More: See the fully-illustrated catalogue featuring installation images, an interview between Achim Borchardt-Hume and the artist and an essay by art critic Douglas Fogle. £24.95

Supported by:



The Bloomberg Commission invites an international artist to create an annual site-specific artwork inspired by the rich history of the former library. Bloomberg’s support reflects its commitment to innovation, and its ongoing efforts to expand access to art, science and the humanities.

Additional support provided by the Wingate Scholarships. Giuseppe Penone Exhibition Circle: Aïshti Foundation, Aud and Paolo Cuniberti.

Catalogue supported by Haunch of Venison and Marian Goodman Gallery.