Tag: Ugo Rondinone


Ugo Rondinone | nude in the landscape

Landscapes, suns, nudes, and still lifes—Ugo Rondinone‘s visual worlds transport the viewer into an unfamiliar reality. For his first solo exhibition in a museum in Austria, the multimedia conceptual and installation artist has devised a polyphonic, immersive cosmos.

Ugo Rondinone has been crossing boundaries between media and disciplines for more than 30 years. Works by the New York–based Swiss artist are often inspired by everyday issues and subjects that take on a poetic dimension through isolation, amplification, or specific material treatment. Ideas of Romanticism, the sublime, and transience resonate, as do the leitmotifs that define Rondinone’s work: figuration and abstraction, humans and nature, day and night, space and time. In highly artificial installations that cite art history and popular culture, the artist creates haunting moods that capture our modern-day attitude toward life.

nude in the landscape is Rondinone’s first solo show in an Austrian museum. With the genres “nude” and “landscape” cited in the title, the artist opens up a broad artistic and art historical space of signification that extends through different eras to our present day. As viewers step into a calm, almost meditative setting, a “landscape tableau” made up of several elements unfolds before them.

At the center of the exhibition is a monumental statement: two standing landscapes with sunrise and sunset (2021), the title of Rondinone’s oversized two-part work created specifically for this show. Standing over four meters tall, these “walls” are 16 and 18 meters wide respectively and weigh several tons; they can be read both as picturess and as sculptures. The two circular sections placed at different heights denote a sunrise and sunset. Juxtaposed against the landscapes are 14 life-size nudes (2010/11), wax casts of dancers, captured in a moment of contemplation and indifferent repose. Each figure consists of up to twenty segments, with earth pigments from different continents mixed into the material to produce a variety of color gradations. Also part of this atmospheric setting are the series poems (2003–2021), the work winter cloud (2019) and a series of clocks without hands: red clock(2016), blue clock (2016) and yellow clock (2016). A transparent gray foil work on the glass façade of the Belvedere 21, titled when the sun goes down and the moon comes up (2021), blurs the boundaries between day and night, interior and exterior, art and nature. The romantic longing to capture a particular fleeting moment, or rather to suspend time by artistic means, permeates the entire exhibition.

Curated by Axel Köhne

Ugo Rondinone
nude in the landscape
December 12, 2021–May 1, 2022

Belvedere 21
Arsenalstrasse 1
1030 Vienna
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm

T +43 1 795570


Image: View of Ugo Rondinone: nude in the landscape, Belvedere 21, Vienna, 2022. Photo: Stefan Altenburger, Courtesy studio rondinone

Ugo Rondinone. Akt in der Landschaft / nude in the landscape
Editors: Stella Rollig, Axel Köhne
Authors: Laura Hoptman, Axel Köhne, Stella Rollig
Graphics: Willi Schmid
Verlag Buchhandlung Walther & Franz König
Approx. 112 pages, 150 illustrations
Format: 31 × 24 cm
German & English in one volume
ISBN 978-3-903114-99-9
Price: 29.80 EUR
Available from February 2022

Press contact: Irene Jäger, presse@belvedere.at / T +43 1 79 557-185


Ugo Rondinone. A wall. a door. a tree. a lightbulb. winter.

Sørlandets Kunstmuseum is proud to open a new exhibition by Ugo Rondinone, titled a wall. a door. a tree. a lightbulb. winter. The exhibition will be on view until April, 11 2021.

This is Rondinone’s first show at a Norwegian contemporary art museum. The exhibition will feature four selected large-scale works, that underline an important element to the artist’s work: understatement. The work All Absolute Abyss forms the leitmotif to this showing, an oversized wooden (portal), crafted with sturdy applied hardware and enamel. The door summons and beckons us; are we inside, what lies beyond, is it open, ajar or firmly shut. The exhibition signals a new chapter of the museum on the move. In 2022 Sørlandets Kunstmuseum will move into its new headquarters, Kunstsilo, a spectacularly renovated grain silo originally built in 1935. The new museum will house the world’s largest collection of Nordic Modernist art, including Nicolai Tangen’s vast collection of 20th century art featuring over 3,000 works carefully collected over the years.

Ugo Rondinone was born 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland. After moving to Zürich to work with the Austrian multi-media artist Hermann Nitsch, he felt compelled to study at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst in Vienna. Upon his graduation in 1990, Ugo maintained an incredible work rate. A definitive move to New York, in 1998, further forging his artistic prowess. Following the positive response to his early concentric circular paintings, Rondinone started to explore other mediums and installation processes. A beautiful and hauntingly poetic togetherness with the incredible poet John Giorno, who sadly passed away in 2019, spanning over 20 years, deeply fueled the intricate variety and depth of the works Ugo develops. Rondinone’s wide-ranging practice utilizes metaphoric and iconographic images such as clouds, animals and figures, as well as powerful declarative sayings. His work is often founded on themes and motifs from our everyday surroundings (light bulbs, masks, trees, etc.) that acquire a poetic dimension by being isolated, repeated or given specific material treatments. With respect to their form, his installations contain diverse references found within the history of art and popular culture.

A well-known recent work in this respective is Seven Magic Mountains placed in the expansive desert-lands of Nevada, USA. The installation is comprised of playfully stacked rocks coated in a special highly artificial looking coat of weather resilient day-glo paint. Imagine all hues of the rainbow paired with more subdued blacks and greys. Ugo noted the connection between these natural stones and their applied “new exterior” shapes a continuum between human and nature, artificial and natural, then and now. The contrast between the works shown at SKMU could not be higher nor more intentional. The exhibition will feature four selected large-scale works, that underline another important element to Rondione’s work: understatement. These naturally crafted objects, that exist on their own, without applied narrative, exist as bare poetic objects free for the onlooker to discover. The work All Absolute Abyss forms the leitmotif to this showing, an oversized wooden (portal), crafted with sturdy applied hardware and enamel. The door summons and beckons us; are we inside, what lies beyond, is it open, ajar or firmly shut. Together with the other works shown here; questions of belonging, of space, of nature, of interior and exterior, of fantasy, of desire and togetherness are evoked. The quiet room transports the onlooker into a secluded space, free from distracting societal noise and torrential (digital) information. Instead we are allowed to be silent. The works simply exist as they are, made with wonderful attention to detail, allowing the audience to experience them in their own respective ways. This rather melancholic world ensures that the boundaries between reality and dreamworld fade. What remains is a deeply personal suspension of time. The rest is darkness.

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