Ugo Rondinone, ‘Small blue green pink mountain’, 2017, Public Art Fund 2017 Spring Benefit

Sculpture: 14.5 x 6.5 x 4.25"; Pedestal: .75 x 7.25 x 7.25"

For his epic 2013 installation with Public Art Fund, titled Human Nature, Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone erected giant stone figures inside New York’s Rockefeller Center that were up to 20 feet tall and weighed 30,000 pounds, with the intent of bringing natural elements into an artificial urban environment. Growing out of this innovative moment in his practice, Rondinone’s most recent series Magic Mountains aims to do the exact opposite: neon colors emphasize the artificiality of the sculptures, and obscure the medium, making it impossible to discern whether it is natural material or Styrofoam. Small blue green pink mountain from 2017 is one such beguiling creation: It defies the laws of nature and gravity simultaneously. Rondinone has been the subject of major solo exhibitions internationally, and he represented Switzerland in the Venice Biennale in 2007. His works are in the collection of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, among others.

Image rights: Courtesy of the artist

About Ugo Rondinone

Ranging from installations to psychedelic paintings to large-scale drawings, Ugo Rondinone’s eclectic work balances on the razor’s edge between euphoria and depression. His signature incandescent colors and Pop references, as in his rainbow-hued and neon-lit sign pieces, turn cultural clichés (“Hell, Yes!”) into material for a contemporary Arte Povera, recycling old catchphrases, repurposed cement, or cast-off clothes. Similarly, his sculptures often transform everyday objects by casting them in bronze, giving them an artificial permanence that both underscores and denies their perishability. Rondinone represented Switzerland in the 52nd Venice Biennale.

Swiss, b. 1964, Brunnen, Switzerland, based in New York, New York