(Italian, b.1947) is an Italian sculptor, Conceptual artist, and member of the Arte Povera
movement. Born in Garession, Italy, Penone studied at the Accademia di Belle Arte in Turin, and created his earliest works in a forest outside his hometown. Known for his exploration of the connection between natural and man-made forms, these works consisted of hand prints made with nails, and pieces of lead attached to tree trunks, which were joined together with zinc and copper wires.
Beginning in the early 1970s, Penone began using his own body as a subject in his works, projecting images drawn from the surface of his skin on to plaster casts of his face or on to wall surfaces. Vessels, fingerprints, and body images reoccurred in a number of forms in his other works throughout the decade, along with vegetables in the shape of the artist’s face and cast into bronze. In the 1980s, he began incorporating large agricultural tools made of metal, terracotta, and wood into his images.
In 2001, he received the Rolf Schock Prize in Visual Arts, and, in 2007, participated in the Venice Bienniale. His work is included in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, MAXXI in Rome, the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
He lives and works in Turin and Paris.