Towering Bronze Trees to Take Root in Madison Square Park This Fall

By Heather Holland on July 8, 2013 9:32am 

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 Three 40-foot bronze trees will be incorporated into the park's natural landscape beginning September 26.
Bronze Trees to Arrive in Madison Square Park in Fall 2013
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FLATIRON — A trio of towering bronze tree sculptures will take root at Madison Square Park in the fall.

The 40-foot bronze trees, titled “Ideas of Stone," will be incorporated into the park’s natural landscape beginning Sept. 26 and will be on display through Feb. 9, the Madison Square Park Conservancy announced.

The tree sculptures represent the relationship between man, sculpture and nature, the conservancy said. Rather than standing upright, they will be twisted, crooked or even uprooted.

“A tree summarizes in an exemplary way the contrast between two forces: the force of gravity and the weight of life we are part of,” Giuseppe Penone, the Italian artist, said in a statement. “The need and the search for balance, which exists in every living being to counteract the force of gravity, is evident in every step and in every small action of our lives.”

The exhibit will include traces of the materials used to construct the trees, including fingerprints, nails, wires and even boulders, which will be placed precariously on the trees' branches as symbols of man’s interaction with the natural world.

Penone lives and works in Turi, Italy and Paris. He frequently uses trees in his work, often by twisting, deconstructing, hollowing and uprooting them. These signature techniques will be showcased in the new Madison Square Park exhibit.

“Penone’s work may be best-known to European audiences," said Debbie Landau, president of the Madison Square Park Conservancy, "and the opportunity to display his towering bronze trees in New York is a tribute to his unique vision, which complements the natural environment of the park’s foliage and the season's transition from fall to winter."

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