Art & Architecture
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FENDI installs a new site specific artwork by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone - entitled Foglie di pietra - in Largo Goldoni in Rome, opposite Palazzo FENDI, today, May 22nd 2017 at 8.00 pm. Following the solo exhibition of Giuseppe Penone, Matrice, hosted at the Maison’s headquarters at Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome (from January 27th 2017 through July 16th 2017), FENDI renews and reinforces its deep bond with Rome by gifting to the city and to the public an important artwork by one of today’s most celebrated sculptors.
After the majestic restoration of the Trevi Fountain and of other five fountains, and following the opening to the public of the first floor of its headquarters at Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, FENDI reaffirms once again its full commitment to the promotion of culture. This important initiative, the result of an effective synergy between public and private, has been carefully examined at every stage and approved by a specially formed joint committee, which has identified the artist and approved the project of the work, and composed by the Directorate General for Contemporary Art and architecture and urban suburbs of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, the City of Rome – Superintendence of Cultural Heritage for Rome, together with FENDI and Massimiliano Gioni, curator of the exhibition.
“As Edgar Morin says, we humans are not 50% nature and 50% culture, yet 100% cultural and 100% natural human beings. There are no mistakes in this calculation, but the acknowledging that every natural event is also completely cultural in human societies, suffices it to think of the rites, rules, thoughts, conceptualizations that go along entirely biological facts such as birth, nutrition, death. Evoking this double dimension in Largo Goldoni and talking about the “cultural tomorrow” of the capital city, the art of Giuseppe Penone also creates a new dialogue between history, the contemporary and the future. It is a further sign of a city that works, in many of its components, to give everyone back the right to freely enjoy the art and the benefits of scientific progress. Conditions these indispensable to its relaunch,” comments Luca Bergamo, Deputy Mayor of the City of Rome with delegation to cultural growth.
“The great sculpture ‘Foglie di pietra’, permanent installation that will enrich Largo Goldoni through its expressive strength, constitutes a great gift to art and culture by one of the greatest contemporary Italian sculptors. A gift which FENDI has contributed to, continuing in fact, to manifest its love for the city of Rome, with this new act of patronage,“ says Claudio Parisi Presicce, Superintendent of Cultural Heritage for Rome.
“We are extremely proud to donate this wonderful and incredible art piece by Giuseppe Penone to the city of Rome, its citizens and the million tourists who come visit the Eternal City every day. ‘Foglie di pietra’ embodies once again how much tied we are to this city and the importance it carries in the history of FENDI. Penone is an Italian artist of international fame with whom we share the passion for creation, sublime savoir-faire and continuous dialogue between tradition and innovation, core values of FENDI,” states Pietro Beccari, Chairman and CEO of FENDI.
The great sculpture Foglie di pietra (Leaves of Stone, 2016) is one of the most complex artworks of Giuseppe Penone: two bronze trees – 18 and 9 meter-tall respectively – interlace their branches, lifting-up at 5 meters from the ground a sculpted marble block weighing 11 tonnes. In Foglie di pietra, archaeology and ruins, history and biology are grafted one on the other, creating a permanent bond between nature and culture, celebrating a deep synthesis between the flowing of natural and human time where a sense of longing and a romantic nostalgia for lost civilizations are brought to the surface.
Installed in the architectural context of the city of Rome, the artwork activates a series of interpretations and associations between the various moments of the millenary history of the capital city: through the virtuous use of precious materials, such as bronze and marble, Foglie di pietra recalls the illusionism and marvel of Baroque Rome, whereas the fragments of ruins inserted in the branches of the sculpture are reminiscent of the Classic and Medieval era. Intimately linked to the history of Rome, Foglie di pietra is also deeply ingrained in the present and future of the city. This piece is in fact the first work of contemporary art to be permanently installed in the public spaces of Rome and it is bound to become a symbol of the identity of a constantly changing city that still never loses the bond with its historical roots.
After the installation of several sculptures in the public spaces of different cities – among which Frankfurt, Kassel, New York, Paris – with Foglie di pietra, Penone intervenes in the landscape and history of Rome, placing an unexpected presence that yet perfectly integrates in the city’s layout: installed in Largo Goldoni, Foglie di pietra mixes nature and culture, interweaving a rich dialogue between history and contemporaneity.
Giuseppe Penone is a key figure in the history of contemporary art. Since his early relationship to Arte Povera, the Italian avant-garde movement of the 1960s, Penone has established himself as one of the greatest contemporary sculptors internationally. After numerous exhibitions in prestigious museums and following his enormously significant solo exhibition in Versailles in 2013 – the first and only Italian artist to receive such a recognition – Penone is widely regarded today as one of the most original contributors to the history of contemporary sculpture.
Penone’s sculptures combine a careful selection of materials such as wood, wax, leather, marble and bronze, with his fascination for the transformative forces of nature. His works inspire a cosmic awe and the artist’s interventions and sculptural virtuosity reveal the richness and simplicity of nature while evoking themes linked to ecology and environmental conservation that are now more urgent than ever.
The house of FENDI was established by Adele and Edoardo Fendi in Rome in 1925. The opening of the first FENDI boutique– a handbag shop and fur workshop followed. Soon winning international acclaim, FENDI emerged as a brand renowned for its elegance, craftsmanship, innovation and style. In 1965, the collaboration with Karl Lagerfeld begins and continues today. In 1992 Silvia Venturini Fendi seconds Karl Lagerfeld in the creative direction. In 1994 she is given responsibility of leather goods accessories and then the direction of the kidswear and menswear lines. In 2000 the LVMH Group acquires FENDI becoming in 2001 its majority shareholder. Today FENDI is synonymous with quality, tradition, and creativity.
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