Whitechapel Gallery

Ugo Rondinone

24 Jan - 26 Mar 2006

Ugo Rondinone
zero built a nest in my navel
24 January - 26 March 2006

Described as a visionary trapped by reality, Ugo Rondinone takes us on a journey through the doors of perception. Working across different media and styles, he references literature, music and theatre as well as the visual arts, creating sensory and theatrical installations in which transcendent inner worlds and earthbound life collide.

Born in Switzerland in 1964, Rondinone first came to international attention in the early 1990s with installations combining photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture and sound. His exhibitions can include India ink landscapes in the Romantic tradition, or mesmerising target paintings that recall the trance-inducing images of 1960s psychædelia. He combines works with an up-beat, pop sensibility with others that reflect a mood of longing and disconnection, from photographs of a man and a woman who never meet to melancholy images of clowns slumped on floors.

For his first major UK exhibition, Rondinone has created a new installation that centres on a large structure in reflective Perspex. Like an open-ended maze, it frames a series of masks and sculptures that project an interior, mental state onto a spectral, Gothic landscape.

A pre-recorded dialogue loops in a darkened sensory environment and, like a Samuel Beckett play, presents a never-ending circle of disconnection. The exhibition title is taken from a number of haikus the artist has been writing daily, like a diary, and transferring onto canvas. Eclectic in media and subject matter, Rondinone considers the nature of artistic contemplation. His works reflect on the conflict between reality and a world of mirrors, dreams and artifice.


© Ugo Rondinone
The second hour of the poem, 2005, cast wax, pigments
Courtesy Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich

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