Fendi Bonds With Giuseppe Penone: a Dialogue Between Tradition and Modernity

Joelle Grosso (January 16, 2017)
Coming up this spring, the Italian luxury fashion house will display the work of the talented artist, Giuseppe Penone, at both their flagship location in Rome as well as the city’s Palace of Italian Civilization.

Fendi, one of the most sophisticated clothing brands in the world is teaming up with Italian artist, Giuseppe Penone as a way to pay tribute to the Eternal City. Rome is a symbolic spot for Fendi because not only is it the the capital of Italy but it’s where the fashion house was born. The company was created all the way back in 1925 by the couple, Adele and Edoardo Fendi, who owned a tiny fur and leather shop on Via del Plebiscito. Throughout the years, the business took off to the point where it is now a multinational luxury fashion brand with tremendous influence over the style industry. 

When designing their fairly new flagship store located in the heart of Rome near the Spanish Steps, Fendi chose to install a sculpture entitled “Leaves of Stone” created by the Italian artist, Giuseppe Penone for the upcoming spring season. The eye-catching sculpture consists of two intertwined bronze trees and towers at over 60 feet. The President and CEO of the company Pietro Beccari says that they decided to feature this particular piece because it “expresses the deep bond with Rome and the importance of this bond in the history of Fendi.” 

He added that “Penone is an Italian artist of international fame with whom we share the passion for creation, for know-how, and for the dialogue between tradition and modernity, cardinal Fendi values.”

Penone was born in 1947 and is a member of the “Arte Povera” Italian contemporary art movement which revolves around avant-garde concepts. His sculptures, installations, and drawings are characterized by their incorporation of unconventional materials such as lead, iron, wax, wood, plaster, and burlap. A central theme that can be found in Penone’s work is the profound relationship between man and nature which is why the imagery of trees is often used in his pieces. Trees are used to demonstrate a living organism and to prove that they are not so different from human beings. With the “Leaves of Stone” installation, Penone is delighted to be part of the Fendi family and he hopes that his art serves to represent a greater force between the fashion house and the city of Rome. 

Not only will you be able to catch a glimpse of Penone’s work at the flagship location but Fendi will also hold a survey exhibition at the newly renovated Palace of Italian Civilization, an old fascist-era landmark that has recently been transformed into the brand’s new headquarters. The great display entitled “Matrice” will be free and open to public from January 27th to July 16th. It will feature 18 stunning works that span the career of the artist which have never been publicly shown in Italy before.