About the exhibition
“You must be able to feel an artwork.”
Ugo Rondinone is one of the most successful artists of his generation on an international level. His work utilises various media like painting, sculpture, film and installation and rests on a multiplex and multifaceted system of references from German Romanticism to the American land art. His works are basically an attempt to visualise temporality and the contrast of spirituality and the commonplace.
“Doing art and being an artist is a philosophical task rather than one to do with producing objects.”
Ugo Rondinone was born in 1964 in Brunnen in Switzerland. From 1986 to 1990 he studied under Ernst Caramelle at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 1998 he moved to New York and has been living and working there ever since. He works as an artist, poet, collector and curator. In 2007 he represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale. Today, his works are part of museum collections around the world.
“I am waiting for my head to become totally empty. Like a space no one has entered yet, a room without a door or a window. A place where nothing happens.”
The internationally acclaimed artist has been pushing boundaries across various media and disciplines for more than three decades. In highly artificial installations featuring multiplex references to art history and pop culture, he creates evocative atmospheres thus capturing the spirit of contemporary life. “A multi-media artist at the intersection of Conceptual Art and Romanticism, whose imagery confronts the viewers with a new reality, which they inevitably become a part of”, reads in a text on the website of Belvedere 21. Akt in der Landschaft (nude in the landscape) is Rondinone’s first solo exhibition in an Austrian museum and will be featured in Belvedere 21 from November 25, 2021 to May 1, 2022. And we are pleased to announce his concurrent sixth solo exhibition (after 1993, 1998, 2002, 2021 and 2015) at Helga Krobath’s gallery.
“Like a diarist, I record the living universe; this sun, this cloud, this rain, this tree, this animal, this season, this day, this hour, this wind, this kind of earth, this kind of water, this sound in the grass, this pitch of wind, this silence.”
In Belvedere 21, Ugo Rondinone’s work is grouped into classic genres of the nude and the landscape (in addition to the landscapes, sculptures made of soil which among other things refer to Minimal Art, the exhibition will also include hyperrealistic nudes that look like introverted naked figures made of clear wax and soil). For the exhibition at Krobath Wien, he has created a spatial experience which is similarly meditative but at the same time very colourful and full of references to Romanticism, land art and pop art.
“Art goes beyond language. Poetry as well. They have similarities. They are slow. They create their own temporality.”
Nature as an integrative part of Ugo Rondinone’s works is just as important as the poetic juxtapositions. Day and night. Small and large. Inside and outside. Everything is imbued with melancholy, loneliness and silence. Quite a few examples come to mind, including the life-size olive tree made of cast aluminium and enamelled in white which was presented by the Museum of Art History in 2012 at the reopening of the Theseustemple in the Vienna Volksgarten, after extensive renovations.
“I deal with very basic symbols that everybody can relate to.”
The present exhibition at the Krobath Wien (November 04 – December 22, 2021) has a poetic and at the same time indicative title: a low sun . golden mountains . fall. It encompasses thirteen sculptures from Rondinone’s mountain – works and two of his sun paintings. Land art meets pop art. Stones painted in excessive colours are piled up and fixed to one another through a construction made of stainless steel. In this exhibition they are combined with airbrushed circles in fluorescent, acrylic colours on round canvases, which are titled with the date of their completion thus contrasting the idea of the timelessness of an artwork with a precise date. The result is a unique experience in a meditative-mystical space, which lies beyond the here-and-now and yet also right in the centre of our present time.