In equating the surface of marble to skin, Giuseppe Penone explores the material's vulnerability. The artist carved deep tracks along the natural veins of the marble and then continued these tracks, using protruding thorns, across an adjacent canvas. "Working with veined marble . . . I make it similar to human skin," Penone has written. "The resulting surface, which is pleasantly smooth to the touch, is put in relationship to the panel in which thorns draw veins. Thorns will wound you if you touch them, and their image is always in relation to skin and their painful wounding."
Gallery label from Against the Grain: Contemporary Art from the Edward R. Broida Collection, May 3–July 10, 2006.