Elevazione (2001) Giuseppe Penone

Otto Snoek
About the artwork

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 lift the work, 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.

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About the artist

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.

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