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Earth of the World (Germination series)

2016
Giuseppe Penone

Germination by the Italian artist Giuseppe Penone is a series of four works that enter into dialogue with the architecture of the museum and its collections to explore the links between humanity, art and nature. The imprint of a human hand is the starting point for “germinations” that take the shape of a tree, an anthropomorphic vase, handfuls of earth and a line of propagation continuing to infinity. Symbolising the vital movement of birth, this work accompanies the blossoming of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Born in 1947, Giuseppe Penone was a member of the Arte Povera (“Poor Art”) movement in the late 1960s. With Jannis Kounellis, Giovanni Anselmo and Michelangelo Pistoletto, he championed a return to humble materials as a reaction against consumerism. In addition to a rich classical culture, he also draws on Celtic and Eastern sources and explores the links between the worlds of plants and animals, using his own body as a tool to apprehend nature on the human scale. Highlighting analogies between mankind and nature, he lays bare the invisible mysteries of life and the work of art in gestation. It is precisely this vital and creative relationship that he explores in Germination.

A mosaic of pieces of clay marked by the artist’s hand echoes the shape of the vase in front of it on a larger scale. Each lump of clay contains the mineral, vegetable and animal memory of the earth from which it was taken. Beneath the simplicity of the act indicated by these imprints, we find a reference to how each individual is involved in a universal and collective destiny.

Artwork Details

Artist: Giuseppe Penone
Title: Earth of the World (Germination series)
Geography: Cité de la céramique, Sèvres and Limoges, France
Date: 2016

Medium: terracotta

Classification: installation
Dimensions: H. 6 m
Contact for images: images@louvreabudhabi.ae

Permalink: www.louvreabudhabi.ae/en/explore/highlights-of-the-collection/earth-of-the-world

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