Ugo Rondinone - New Now New York Wednesday, September 28, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "All the symbols I use come from the Romantic movement, from the rainbow and mask, to the solitary figure, tree, rain, and snow. The Romantic movement was the first movement to include irrationality, and dreams, that's why it's important. My profession is not to be logical."
    —Ugo Rondinone

    Joseph Mallord William Turner, A Great Tree, circa 1796. Image: Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection, B1977.14.5379

    Ugo Rondinone’s gestural linework and smooth strokes of black India ink create an enchanting dreamscape  in No. 331 VIERTERMÄRZZWEITAUSENDUNDVIER. Thick tree roots, shrubs and trees coalesce  to form an expansive scene of tranquility, rich in references to Romanticism. With a nod to Turner’s exquisitely proportioned depictions of nature and Caspar David Friedrich’s expansive, open landscapes, Rondinone creates a monumental, monochromatic landscape that unfolds in front of the viewer. 

    However untethered No. 331 VIERTERMÄRZZWEITAUSENDUNDVIER is to a specific geographic location, its title firmly establishes its presence in the artist’s oeuvre. As curator Alison Gingeras notes, Rondinone’s landscape works “are subjected to a ritualized time of production” as he likens “his practice to a series of devotional rituals.i” These “rituals” underscore the artist’s spiritual devotion to his practice; a recorded, planned documentation of his completed work. The direct translation of the present work’s title, March 14, 2004, most likely references the work’s execution date, but not definitively. The mysterious allure of Rondinone’s work is highlighted by this complex relationship between specificity and vagueness that permeates his practice. More focused on the viewer’s emotional response to art, Rondinone firmly believes “that you don't have to understand an artwork. You have just to feel it.ii” 

    i Ugo Rondinone – zero built a nest in my navel, exh. cat, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2006, p. 279
    ii Ugo Rondinone, quoted in Sam Gaskin, “Ugo Rondinone,” OCULA, October 20, 2014, online

    • Provenance

      Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      London, Whitechapel Gallery, Ugo Rondinone - zero built a nest in my navel, January 24–March 26, 2006, p. 198 (illustrated)
      Zurich, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, ugo rondinone: kiss now kill later, September 2–October 30, 2011, pp. 278–279, 306 (installation view illustrated, pp. 278–279)



ink on paper with silkscreen on Plexiglas plaque
78 3/4 x 118 1/8 in. (200 x 300 cm)
Executed in 2004.

Full Cataloguing

$80,000 - 100,000 

Sold for $252,000

Contact Specialist

Avery Semjen
Head of Sale, New Now
212 940 1207

New Now

New York Auction 28 September 2022