In the spring of 2016 you could explore the magical world of artist Ugo Rondinone (Brunnen 1964) in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. He brought together new and existing works in a large installation like a colour spectrum revealing the various facets of existence. Forty-five life-size clown sculptures will form the centrepiece of his first solo exhibition in the Netherlands: ‘Ugo Rondinone -Vocabulary of Solitude’.
Something strange happens every time you look at Rondinone’s art. He gives everyday motifs and images a poetic dimension by isolating or enlarging them. On the floor of the 1500m2 Bodon Galleries visitors could move between life-size clown figures. With titles in the present tense, such as be, breathe, remember, feel and yawn, the clowns in the exhibition represented a 24-hour day in the life of an individual. These clown sculptures had never previously been exhibited.
The rainbow has a holistic significance for Rondinone: a symbol that is all-embracing in its form, colour and familiarity. The installation includes half mandala paintings created with an airbrush technique. The optical effect of the large rainbow bands of colour makes them dance before your eyes. The rainbow theme continues in thousands of drawings by children: young artists who have responded to the artist’s request for help in creating a 4 x 30 metre wall of rainbow drawings.
The 45 clowns shown in the exhibition have titles in the present tense, such as be, breath, remember, feel and yawn. Together, they describe a day in the life of an individual. Just as a prism splits white light into all the colours of the rainbow, in this installation Rondinone reveals the various aspects of human existence.
Rondinone lets his installations speak for themselves. A work of art is only a success if the beholder feels no need to think and is naturally thrust in a certain direction: ‘Good art revolutionises your whole being. It is something that stops you, or slows you down.’
“Good art revolutionizes your whole being. It is something that stops you, or slows you down”
Objects in the exhibition
With his installations Ugo creates personal dreamscapes. This installation, entitled Vocabulary of Solitude, is a retrospective exhibition of his works inspired by the colour spectrum. Clowns, clocks, candles, shoes, windows, light bulbs and rainbows: they are recognisable images that speak to all of us. These symbols excite free-association and memories.
Bekijk de loopbaan van Ugo Rondinone
Contemporary Art in Boijmans
The museum’s invitation to Rondinone to stage his first solo exhibition in the Netherlands means he is following in the footsteps of Fischli & Weiss (2003/2004), Urs Fischer (2006), Yayoi Kusama (2008), Pipilotti Rist (2009), Olafur Eliasson (2005, 2010), Carsten Höller (2010), Paul Noble (2014) and many others.
The focus of the many new exhibitions at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in the spring of 2016 is the work of international and Rotterdam-based artists, including Ugo Rondinone, the ‘Project Rotterdam’ group presentation, the eighth edition of the Sensory Spaces series with Mike Nelson, an installation by Diederik Klomberg, a triptych by James Lee Byars, and a presentation by Jan van de Pavert.