The “Nature Theatre” is a work in progress, inaugurated, symbolically, with the “Stone brain” work. The work was designed by the artist “with the aim of enhancing and being enhanced by the place where it stands, the river of Sarmento, as well as hosting theatre performances. A wide space, which can host a large number of people, with a cosy place for meditation inside”.
Shaped as a 125m-diameter circle, it is made up of natural elements, trees, bushes and stones, not in contrast with the landscape: “A place which fits in the landscape of the region, created with natural elements to delimit and organise the spaces”, says the artist. The “Nature Theatre” is also the place where nature becomes theatre itself and the landscape is represented by a man-made creation.
Born in Garessio, province of Cuneo, in 1947. He lives between Turin and Paris. Penone’s works have been displayed in the most prestigious museums in the world, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of New York, the Tate Modern in London, the Kunsthalle Basel Museum in Basel, and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam. Since his artistic debut, Penone’s research has been concerned in establishing a contact between man and nature.
The stories behind materials, wood, soil, bronze, terracotta have always inspired his works. His Art is not mere presence, the object is not just placed in front of the audience, but it is animated by the vital breath that passed through it, the fire that shaped it, the hand that drawn it. The artist has repeatedly stated that “the distinction between man and other things does not exist”, and such a belief is shown in his most recent works, through the vital movement of images from one material to another, the assimilation of entities that have usually been regarded as distinct.
This happens in Paesaggi del cervello (Brain’s landscapes, 2000), drawings where the brain leaves on the skull are transposed to the images of leaves, and in the Anatomie (Anatomies, from 1993), where the artist hews into the surface of marble to bring out the veining, which so closely resembles the vessels through which blood flows in living creatures.
Since the early seventies, Penone’s work has been honoured with important awards in Italy, Europe, United States and Japan.