When it comes to contemporary art, the Palace of Versailles isn’t exactly the first place that springs to mind. The location is known for its extravagant luxury, collection of fine classical artworks and perfectly manicured grounds. Now Italian artist Giuseppe Penone is bringing a new flavor to the magnificent place, placing his large scale tree sculptures around the grounds and inside the palace as a celebration of the beauty of nature. As is congruent with his work, the sculptures are constructed using natural materials, mainly of wood and stone. The organic pieces create a striking scene set against the classic backdrop that is the palace.
Penone’s art bridges the gap between “man-made” and “nature-made,” often blurring the boundaries between those concepts. At once his trees appear as if they have grown, rooted in their location, and simultaneously we notice strange modifications in their natural form – stones sitting high in branches, bark split away from trunk in geometric forms.
The works are currently on display along the royal walk leading from the Grand Canal to the Palace, as well as in the Star Grove. They will be on display until 30 October, 2013.