Elevazione (2001) Giuseppe Penone
Elevazione was placed on the Westersingel when Rotterdam was Cultural Capital in 2001, just like 'the sausages' of Franz West on the other side. As colorful and striking as West's work is, as natural is the sculpture by artist Giuseppe Penone. This naturalistic bronze tree is a full-size cast of a tree without a top. Penone wanted the image to fit effortlessly into the green, tree-lined avenue of the Westersingel. But it is not just any tree. As saplings are often supported by poles, it is carried by four alders, as if they were a family together. They push the work up, hence the title: Elevazione (which means 'elevation' in Italian). The taller the alders grow, the higher Penone's tree will grow. It also fits in a series of 'artificial trees' that Rotterdam has. Click for more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam.
The Italian artist Giuseppe Penone (Garessio - Italy, 1947) grew up in a village where he took an early interest in nature. He intervened in the growth processes of trees, clamping or weaving tree trunks. Trees remained part of his work during the time of Poor art, which revolves around natural materials. Penone was interested in the spiritual side of nature, which is also a guideline for this work in Rotterdam.