Giuseppe Penone: Drawing Center, New York

By Armstrong, Carol | Artforum International, Summer 2004 | Go to article overview

Giuseppe Penone: Drawing Center, New York


Armstrong, Carol, Artforum International


GIUSEPPE PENONE

DRAWING CENTER, NEW YORK

KIKI SMITH

MOMA QNS, NEW YORK

Fable I: "Giuseppe Penone: The Imprint of Drawing." In the anteroom of the Drawing Center, a giant barred the way, buried up to his eyebrows, from which his colossal forehead, its worry lines traced by thorns, emerged aboveground. Never mind the crown of thorns; for me that gargantuan tracery called up Briar Rose's thicket. For it was hard to see the forehead for the forest of finger-pricking points. Indeed, it wasn't until later that I knew Penone's Spine d'acacia (fronte) (Acacia Thorns [Forehead]), 2002, was a forehead at all. Stand to the side, as I did, approaching gingerly, and all you saw was that spiky copse, daring you to touch, to feel instead of see, and then fall under the somatic sway of a world in which you were suddenly so impossibly small as to be blind to the gestalt of everything around you. You became like a fly, crawling across a spine-sprouting surface so expansive as to require a map for its traversal--except here the surface was its own map and the fly could not read it. Stepping away from the side, you began to grow and see something develop: not forms, nor directions through the prickly maze, but a cursive swoop here and a springing are there--gradually you became aware that those linear fragments might be huge, stray hairlines. Step farther away and orient yourself less sidelong to the spiky surface, and growing more you began to be aware of openings, clearings, paths through the spiny woods: the fissures between rows and clumps of thorns, the spaces that helped to define lines as lines, gaps that were the negative of those lines, broken-off trails of not-line that meandered on either side of strings of thorny line starting and stopping here and there.

Step back farther, grow larger and stand squarer to the plane of the false wall, and then, like a cartoon character standing on what she thought was a harmless mound of inanimate matter but was really an enormous beast about to awake from its sleep and shake the minute irritant from its back, you noted the massive extent of that surface and began scanning it to take in whatever patterns there were to be discerned among the thorns and the weave of shadows cast by them. It became less evident that they were sharp protrusions that might puncture your skin if you got too close and bumped into them. Backing away, you knew in a flash that you were facing the top of the head of a giant who couldn't quite see you ... yet.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Quickly you skirted the colossus and entered the atrium. There you found, on the left, Palpebra (Eyelid), 1989-91, dark clouds of eyelids with shards of a repeated profile caught in them. All nose and unseeing eye, its gaze canceled out by an inked fingerprint in place of a pupil, that reiterated part profile was oriented sidelong to its surface, as if you were to be encouraged to come so close that your own cheek and nose touched the feltlike fiber of which it was made, and your own eyelids brushed up against it without your eyes being able to see it. Your eyes felt as if they felt the felt, instead, and found it slightly hairy, not wrinkled as you thought from a distance.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

On the back wall was Impronte rilevate sulla matita durante l'esecuzione (Prints Left on the Pencil During Execution), 1975/2004--four giant fingerprints where some huge humanoid had dirtied the wall with smudges left by the giant pencil stub held between his giant fingers. Then, turning to the right, you found yourself held in the mammoth hands of another Gulliverlike personage with hands so large that the whorls of the ten fingertips became channels, gutters and troughs, tree rings and spiraling whirlpools, surrounding you in your once again Lilliputian dimensions. The hands of L'impronta del disegno (The Imprint of Drawing), 2002-2003, were so large that where their prints began was invisible to you, and where they ended disappeared off the horizon. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Giuseppe Penone: Drawing Center, New York
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.