The exhibition "Sève et pensée" at the Bibliothèque nationale de France

A monumental installation of Giuseppe Penone which amazes and delights the visitor


Exhibition Giuseppe Penone Sève et pensée at the Bibliothèque nationale de France a

I visited the exhibition Sève et pensée at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, which invites us to immerse ourselves into the mysterious world of Giuseppe Penone, Italian artist who lives between Turin and Paris…


The exhibition showcases several emblematic works of the artist, with different techniques.


In this blogpost, I am choosing to highlight three pieces which moved me, and invite you to visit the exhibition if it is possible for you or have a look on the site of the BNF.



The skin of the tree

Giuseppe Penone unveils for the first time at the Bibliothèque nationale de France Sève et Pensée a monumental installation which is strong, delicate and poetic. On a linen canvas, we discover step by step the imprint of the trunk of a 30 meters long acacia, made by rubbing the tree trunk with elder leaves. All around this giant imprint flows a long fluid text, written in Italian by the artist, without punctuation.


This technique, that had already been experimented by the artist in the 1980's also features on Verde del bosco in a more classical format which virtually immerses the visitor into an imaginary forest...


The exhibition also offers for visitors’ admiration traces of plants: leaves of trees dusted with pigments revealed with adhesive and presented in small mural compositions (for copyright issues I do not publish any pictures here).


At the heart of the wood, the memory of the tree

After having observed the skin of the plant, of its structure and its growth accidents, the visitor has the joy of discovering an immense sculpture Arbres-livre. Twelve tree trunks are carved to reveal the core tree, still hidden inside the beam.


Drawing and prints inspired by nature
Dry-point of Giuseppe Penone Exhibition Sève et pensée Bibliothèque nationale de France BNF

The print lovers spend a lot of time admiring a series of drawings and dry-point prints including a new series, gifted to the BNF by the artist. The delicacy of the marks and the quality of the print itself are stunningly beautiful and moving.


I invite you to take the time to visit the exhibition which is almost a retrospective of this important artist’s work. One is amazed, soothed and inspired…