Born in 1964, New York-based Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone is one of the leading voices in the contemporary visual arts.
Using photography, video, painting, drawing, sculpture, sound, and text in turn, he is a virtuoso of forms and techniques. Rondinone particularly enjoys destabilizing the viewers’ perceptions and unsettling their certainties by developing surprising sensorial environments. Rearranging content and formal elements through a personal poetic filter while drawing directly on the outside world, he envelops the audience in a synesthetic experience.
The artist has developed very precise and repetitive series—clown sculptures and videos, target acrylic paintings on linen, rubber masks, aluminium face sculptures, oversized wax lightbulbs, striped paintings on polyester, stone sculptures, landscape ink painting, bronze still-life objects, video and sound installations—through which he explores themes of fantasy and desire, branching out in literature and poetry, contemporary cinema, and the visual arts.
In the first volume dedicated to the Sun paintings (1992–2012), critic and art historian Lionel Bovier offers a visual and perceptual analysis, while Morgan Falconer examines the main characteristics of this series in relation to Rondinone’s work and biography, stating that, ‘If the circles do have a connection to Rondinone’s biography, it is allegorical. A motif in his work links to a moment of life experience just as a part does to a whole, or as a link in a chain sits next to its partners: we see only the link that Rondinone chooses to illuminate, the rest is in darkness.’