Ugo Rondinone - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Wednesday, February 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Hauser & Wirth & Presenhuber, Zurich
    Galleria Raucci/Santamaria, Naples

  • Catalogue Essay

    VIERZEHNTEROKTOBERZWEITAUSENDUNDNULL, painted in 2000, is a mesmerising example from the series of target paintings that Swissborn Ugo Rondinone has been making since the mid-nineties. While reminiscent of the work of the American Colour Field painter Kenneth Noland and the target paintings of Jasper Johns, Rondinone’s circular, flat, vibrantly coloured out-of-focus paintings have a contemporary aesthetic. These target paintings create a powerful visual experience – the viewer’s gaze is drawn hypnotically into the depths of the painting by the concentric circular bands of glowing colour. However, like the paintings of Noland and Johns, any Abstract Expressionist spirituality to be perceived in the work is banished by the banality of its title which, as with every painting in this series, simply refers to the date of its creation – in the case of this work, 14 October 2000.

    Rondinone leaves his intentions open to interpretation, which makes his work all the more fascinating to engage with. As he himself has said: “the viewer has the symbols from which they can create their own story, but it’s not required that you decode my motivation” (in M. Falconer, ‘Masquerade: Ugo Rondinone Uncovered’, Modern Painters, March 2006). “Underlying all Rondinone’s work is a tension between interior essence and exterior appearance … Hypnotic target paintings, rendered in hazy concentric circles of vivid colour, induce feelings of meditative or transcendental reflection. Yet the surface of his target paintings is flat and blurred, a depthless plane that contradicts the absorptive qualities they promise. This disparity is amplified by the many references the work evokes. Played out at both visual and linguistic levels, they constantly refer to something other than the works themselves. They evoke but do not reconcile personal and cultural expression, individual artistic practice and a wider aesthetic discourse.”

    (Andrea Tarsia, ed., Ugo Rondinone: Zero Built a Nest in my Naval, London, 2005, p. 273)



Acrylic on canvas.
Diameter: 220 cm (86 5/8 in).

£120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for £157,250

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

16 February 2012