Ugo Rondinone - Contemporary Art Part II New York Friday, May 13, 2011 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galleria Raucci/Santamaria, Naples

  • Exhibited

    Modena, Galleria Civica, Ugo Rondinone: Giorni Felici, September 15, 2006 - January 7, 2007; Alava, Museo ARTIUM, Gravity: Coleccion Ernesto Esposito, February 1 - May 18, 2008; Caserta, Belvedere di San Leucio, Passaggi, February 15 - March 2, 2011

  • Literature

    M. Farronato, Ugo Rondinone: Giorni Felici, Modena 2007; Gravity: Coleccion Ernesto Esposito, Museo ARTIUM, Alava 2008, p. 55 (illustrated); Passaggi, Caserta 2011, p. 53 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    When the title of the present lot is translated from its original German, we find the date of the work’s inception: August 7, 1999. Ugo Rondinone’s series of round canvases, painted with concentric circles and titled with the date of their production, are all created uniformly: they measure 87 inches in diameter and are produced using only stencils and acrylic spray paint. Each canvas’s individuality lies in the combination and sequence of its colored rings. They depend on the unique qualities of the day in which the painting was conceived. The series, in effect, equates to a controlled experiment in which the dependent variable is the artistic product.

    In this series of circular canvases, Rondinone engages with the artistic tradition of geometric abstraction. His paintings evoke the targets of Jasper Johns, the brightly hued rings of Kenneth Noland, and the hypnotizing canvases of the Op Artist Bridget Riley. Rondinone not only alludes to these seminal works, but he also modifies the concentric circle motif by rendering it in the medium of spray paint. The spray paint lends his rings blurred edges that seem to simultaneously push against and bleed into each other. This effect imbues Rondinone’s canvases with a pulsating, almost hypnotic energy. The series’ varied combinations of colors lend each canvas its own individual rhythm and intensity. As such, the present lot is an exquisite example of Rondinone’s ability to manipulate a deceptively simple form – the circle – in order to create a mesmerizing and innovative visual effect.



Acrylic on canvas.
Diameter: 87 in. (221 cm.)

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $278,500

Contemporary Art Part II

13 May 2011
New York