Rovesciare i propri occhi (To Reverse One’s Eyes), 1970

Giuseppe Penone
Rovesciare i propri occhi (To Reverse One’s Eyes), 1970
Image courtesy of the Artist
Photo by Paolo Mussat Sartor


An Italian sculptor and conceptual Artist, Giuseppe Penone began working in the 1960s as a younger member of the movement Arte Povera – ‘poor art’ – whose stated aim, using everyday materials and ‘happenings’ in their practice, was to end the ‘dichotomy between art and life.’ During the early 1970s, his own body became the principal subject of his art in performances and photographic documentation. Here, he wears mirrored contact lenses. We see him and see the world reflected in his eyes, but he is blind.

The production process is a key part of the sculptures and installations created by Italian Artist Guiseppe Penone. The Artist’s actions engage in a dialectical relationship with nature, giving the same material different form each time, revealing its hidden aspects. The tree, which Penone considers ‘the first and most basic idea of vitality, culture, sculpture,’ is a central element of his work.
Born in Garessio near Cuneo in 1947, Penone joined the collective Arte Povera in 1968. In 2007, he represented Italy at the 52nd Venice Biennale.