Ugo Rondinone - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Tuesday, May 10, 2016 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber, Zurich
    Galerie Almine Rech, Paris
    Phillips, London, June 27, 2013, lot 4
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Avignon, Collection Lambert, Coollustre, May 24 - September 28, 2003, pp. 110-113 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    "I don't have to understand an artwork through linguistic conventions. I have only to feel it." - Ugo Rondinone

    Over the course of his career, Ugo Rondinone has developed an extensive and diverse body of work ranging in medium and scale, including more intimate drawings, paintings, photographs, video and site specific installations, as well as large-scale public sculptures and neon signs. His vast oeuvre is interwoven by an ongoing exploration of the emotional and spiritual power of the human condition. A meditation in existentialism, the artist uses the conventions of landscape as an avenue to express his separateness from the external world. The use of the horizon or landscape as an allegory has held a long-standing presence in art history, extending into modern and contemporary practices from Mark Rothko to Andreas Gursky. The continuum of this tradition is exemplified in Ugo Rondinone’s No. 209 DREISSIGSTERJUNIZWEITAUSENDUNDNULL, 2000, underscoring "the relationship between the modern artist and the landscape as a site for melancholy reflection." (David Thorp, Ugo Rondinone- Zero built a nest in my navel, exh. cat. Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2006, p.275)

    Within the confined walls of an exhibition space, Rondinone’s energetic installations introduce the viewers to new environments, altering their experience in sites that essentially become artificial, yet intimate, landscapes. His celebrated rainbow neon signs comprised of short text phrases such as Hell, Yes!, 2001 and Where Do We Go From Here?, 1999, are mounted on or situated above buildings and effectively define and assert the respective landscapes that they inhabit. Delicately balancing the literal and abstract definition of space, the artist’s ongoing series of mandala - or target - paintings and his landscapes - or horizons - are represented in the preset lot, No. 209 DREISSIGSTERJUNIZWEITAUSENDUNDNULL, 2000, which proposes a dazzling landscape of colored registers referencing post-painterly abstraction, the aesthetic of Op Art and Color Field painting. Rondinone’s mesmerizing strata of vivid magenta and black beam against soft tones of lavender, white and slate blue all of which subtly perform before our gaze. The artist’s feelings of alienation and disconnect are present in the title’s translation, June 13th 2000, which references the date of its production and the simultaneous undermining of "any promise of spiritual fulfillment [which] is undercut by the banality of a daily act, transformed into a testament of presence and of ritualistic activity" (Ibid., p.273).



gloss acrylic on polyester resin
59 x 157 1/2 in. (149.9 x 400.1 cm)

$100,000 - 150,000 

Contact Specialist
John McCord
Head of Day Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1261

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York Auction 10 May 2016