Otterlo beech is one of the least conspicuous sculptures in the sculpture garden. The work stands in an avenue of beech trees, on the spot where one tree was missing. Due to the effects of the air, wind, rain and sun, the bronze surface has taken on the colour of the surroundings, so that the Beech is barely distinguishable from the other trees in the row.


Giuseppe Penone regards the tree is a form of life that, like a human being, grows, blossoms and dies. Accordingly, many of his sculptures include an aspect of integration, a symbiosis of human and tree. In Otterlo beech he allows the human body, in the form of an imprint, to ‘grow with the tree’, from the roots up to high in the branches.

Arte povera

Penone is among a group of avant-garde artists that was active in the 60s and early 70s in Italy under the name arte povera. These artists opposed the increasing industrialization, the dominance of technology and the forfeiture of the relationship between humankind and nature. In their work, they strive to abolish the boundary between art and life.