Ugo Rondinone

b.1964, Brunnen, Switzerland. Lives and works in New York, USA


Ugo Rondinone




Rondinone’s artistic output is surprisingly diverse. Past works have included sculpture, billboard sized affirmations and human bodies cast in wax. By tapping into our instinctual response to colours, shapes and textures, Rondinone’s work takes inspiration from concepts of collective consciousness and meditation. The resulting art is approachable and powerful, welcoming the audience to draw on its presence and reflect on whatever might spring to mind.

In a series of awkward self-portraits - I don’t live here anymore (1996) - questions of gender, self-image and preconceptions of beauty in the 21st century are explored alongside taste and humour. Appropriating flawlessly photoshopped bodies from advertising and fashion magazines, Rondinone transplants his own moustachioed face over that of the model. The effect is a jarring disruption of these familiar realms of fantasy, highlighting the role of manipulation in fashion photography.

ACHTUNDZWANZIGSTERAUGUSTZWEITAUSENDUNDVIER is Rondinone’s reinvention of the Jasper Johns 1960s ‘target paintings’.Rondinone’s circular canvases look back at the viewer with a serene gaze through the use of blurry, pastel colours and a subtle similarity to a human eye. The title, 28 August written in German, refers to the date the painting was completed. This is a consistent practice of Rondinone who refers to them as ‘date paintings’, therefore recalling the act of a diary entry and referring back to self-portraiture but a completely abstract form.