Elevazione (2001) Giuseppe Penone
This artwork was placed on the Westersingel when Rotterdam was in 2001 Cultural Capital, just like Franz West's 'sausages' across the street. As colorful and striking as West's work is, the image of artist Giuseppe Penone is as natural. This naturalistic bronze tree is a full-size cast of a topless tree. Penone wanted the image to fit effortlessly in the green tree-lined avenue of Westersingel. But it's not just a tree. As saplings are often supported by poles, it is supported by four alders, as if they form a family together. They push the work up, hence the title: Elevazione (which means 'elevation' in Italian). The larger the alder grows, the higher Penones tree gets. It also fits in with a series of 'artificial trees' that Rotterdam is rich in. Click for more information: Sculpture International Rotterdam
The Italian artist Giuseppe Penone (Garessio - Italy, 1947) grew up in a village where he was interested in nature at an early age. He intervened in the growth processes of trees, cleaving tree trunks or weaving them together. Trees remained part of his work in the days 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.