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22.6.04

Storm Sculpture

Giuseppe Penone at work on Cedro di Versailles, 2003In a recent post on restoration work being done at Versailles (Gardening at Versailles, June 17), I mentioned the windstorms in December 1999, which wiped out a large number of trees on the château's grounds. Well, a little article (Sculptures de tempête, June 17) in Le Point says that the designer Erik Schaix has put together a project to create artwork from the trees felled by those storms. The exhibit, which includes a viewing of a video showing artist Giuseppe Penone at work on an Atlas cedar, weighing 5 tonnes (11,023 pounds), from Versailles (image shown here, photo by Dina Carrara). The exhibit, Sculptures de Tempête, will be at the Orangerie de Trianon at Versailles until June 27.

That Penone piece, Cedro di Versailles, is actually being shown right now, in the forum of the Centre Pompidou, as part of the Giuseppe Penone retrospective, until August 23. Penone purchased the tree after the storm and worked on it over the past two years, most of which was spent hollowing out large sections of the trunk. This exhibit will move to the Fundació La Caixa, in Barcelona, from September 30 to January 16, 2005.

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