Giuseppe Penone. Photo: James Ewing

Giuseppe Penone will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree at Brown University's 250th Commencement, Providence, Rhode Island.

Sunday, May 27, 2018.

At its 250th Commencement on Sunday, May 27, Brown University will confer honorary doctorates on seven candidates, who have achieved great distinction in a variety of fields. The candidates include:

Lonnie G. Bunch III — Educator, historian and museum director
J. Michael Kosterlitz — Physicist, educator and Nobel Prize winner
Beverly E. Ledbetter — Chief legal officer and community leader
Nancy Northup — Attorney and global reproductive rights leader
Giuseppe Penone — Visual artist
Sting — Singer-songwriter, author and activist
Trudie Styler — Actress, activist and UNICEF U.K. ambassador

Honorary degrees are awarded by the Board of Fellows of the Brown Corporation and are conferred by the University president—in English and in Latin—during Commencement exercises on the College Green. Recipients receive prominent recognition at the ceremony but do not serve as the Commencement speaker; since its earliest days, Brown has reserved that honor for members of the graduating class.

Giuseppe Penone is one of the foremost figures of Arte Povera, a 1960s Italian avant-garde movement whose proponents employed common materials, such as stones or newspapers, to protest the commercialization of art.

Concentrating particularly on the aesthetic and intrinsic qualities of trees, he has created works ranging from richly textured wall hangings to intriguing and sensuous sculptures. His piece “Idee di Pietra” (Ideas of stone) — a 27-foot-tall tree that delicately balances a large boulder — was installed on Brown University’s College Green in 2016.

Penone lives and works in Turin, Italy. His work has been selected for multiple major awards, including the Praemium Imperiale by the Japan Art Association in 2014, and the McKim Medal by the American Academy in Rome in 2017. Penone’s work has been displayed in museums across the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art, Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam and the National Gallery of Canada. He graduated from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Italy in 1970.


Website: Brown University | Honorary Degree Recipients