Massive Monuments Stock Rock

New York - Ugo Rondinone’s 16-20 foot tall human shaped stone figures imbues New York City’s iconic Rockefeller Center with a shamanic presence.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network are enjoying this monumental exhibit in the heart of midtown Manhattan.

The colossal figures will be on the Plaza for two weeks, inviting viewers to touch and interact with the primitive and powerful sculptural tribe. The Swiss born Rondinone (and New York City resident) has created mythical figures from massive bluestone slabs.

Roughly cut blocks, replete with drill holes and splits from the quarry, have been stacked to create the monumental sculptures. Larger figures were fabricated in Crodo, Italy at the quarry site, and those sculptures will be exhibited in Europe.

“Human Nature,” organized by the Public Art Fund and Tishman Speyer, is presented by Nespresso. Nicholas Baume, Director and Chief Curator of the Public Art fund has said of the universal figures, “mythical in scale and imagery, visceral in character and impact, these works reconnects the contemporary world with our most ancient origins.”

Internationally renowned as an artist who explores different mediums and psychological expressions, Rondinone is widely represented in museum collections. Upcoming solo shows include Museum Leuven in Brussels and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Ugo Rondinone (born 1964 Brunnen, Switzerland) uses large mixed media to explore themes of fantasy and desire. Many of his pieces coax the viewer into a meditative state like the blurred, brightly colored, concentric rings of his target-shaped paintings; or his strictly black and white landscapes of gnarled trees that seem to bristle with energy.

His large rainbow signs are just as enigmatically alluring with their imperative affirmations of “Hell, Yes!” or “Our Magic Hour.” These signs seem to point to some hidden aspect of our reality and history.

One sign, “Dog Days Are Over,” proclaims an end to a period of turmoil, but what that period is remains unclear. The signs encapsulate and make palpable an unnamed collective desire, and, in turn, inspire a new one: to understand why this hour, for example, is so magical.

Rondinone studied at the Hochschule für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, from 1986 to 1990. He has been the subject of major solo exhibitions at the Kunsthalle, Vienna; Museo de Art Contemporaneo, Leon, Spain; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark; and Sculpture Center, New York.

In 2007, he represented Switzerland in the Venice Biennale. His works are in the collections of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, among others.

Rondinone is represented by Eva Presenhuber Gallery of Zurich and New York’s Barbara Gladstone Gallery. Complementing the monumental Rockefeller Center installation, Barbara Gladstone presents “soul” on May 10. The series of small scale bluestone figures will provide a more private yet equally powerful experience. Ugo Rondinone exhibits with Sadie Coles in London.