Ugo Rondinone is a renowned mixed-media artist who emerged onto the international art scene in the 1990s, and moved from Europe to New York City in 1998, where he continues to live and work. Over the past two decades, he has explored the role of the contemporary artist and his relation to the world, as well as the relation between artwork and its viewers. His installations have included sculpture, painting, video, sound, and photography.
Ugo Rondinone art can also be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, and the Dallas Museum of Art, among others.
Rondinone has also been the subject of major solo exhibitions across Europe and the US, and his work has been shown in prestigious venues around the world such as Le Consortium in Dijon, the Kunstverein in Stuttgart and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. In 2007, he represented Switzerland at the 52nd Venice Biennale.
Unsurprisingly, there are many individuals eager to buy Ugo Rondinone artworks, which often sell for six figure sums when featured at auction. The artist saw a record set in 2011, when ‘Get up girl a sun is running the world’ raised $864,000 at Phillips in London.
In fact, many art connoisseurs have chosen to invest in Ugo Rondinone, including Jane Holzer, Irene Panagopoulos and Eva Presenhuber. With his work highly sought after among collectors today, Rondinone looks to be a great investment choice.
If you would like to find out more about the artist and available works, please speak to our experienced team of Sotheby’s-trained art consultants at Maddox Gallery.
Swiss-born Ugo Rondinone was born in 1964 to Italian parents in the town of Brunnen. At 19, he moved to Zurich to work as assistant to Austrian avant-garde artist Hermann Nitsch. From 1986, he then studied at the Hochschule für angewandte Kunst, Vienna, for four years.
Rondinone often employs the experiential qualities of the everyday and reflects on the boundaries between fiction and reality, operating with what he calls “childlike motives.” He often works on a grand scale, with enormous works immersing the viewer completely.
Despite having produced several distinct groups of artwork in various materials, his works are united by a poetic quality and universal themes such as time and cosmic cycles.
“I see art-making as a ritual, a meditation for myself… It’s to exclude myself from society and to create my own rites…The energy of art is that you can spend time with yourself.’ – Ugo Rondinone
Ugo Rondinone art is perhaps best known through his mountain sculptures, which consist of a number of rocks stacked vertically, each painted a different fluorescent colour. Rising metres in the air, the delicate formations appear to defy gravity.
Inspired by naturally occurring geological formations, the art of meditative rock balancing and ancient totems, these works reflect Rondinone’s interest in natural and ancient themes.
In 2013, Ugo Rondinone showed ‘Human Nature,’ a group of monumental stone figures in Rockefeller Center which resembled both rudimentary robots and the rocks of Stonehenge.
Later in 2015, the artist proposed a public installation close to Las Vegas. ‘Seven Magic Mountains’ consists of seven car-size stone totems cut from a Nevada quarry and painted in artificially bright colours, stacked nearly 10 meters tall in total.
Ugo Rondinone art is also about to enter the UK public space for the first time in Liverpool. Part of his mountain series, the upcoming artwork is the result of a joint project with the Liverpool Biennial and Tate Liverpool. Set to be named Liverpool Mountain, the large-scale outdoor sculpture will sit on the city’s waterfront at the Royal Albert Dock.
“Stacking stones is such a universal impulse, an activity that has gone on around the world as long as humans have been here.” – Ugo Rondinone