'Poems are like sentences that have taken their clothes off.' Marlene Dumas' poetic and sensual refrain accompanies her figurative watercolours on view in Possibilities for a Non-Alienated Life, the fourth edition of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale (KMB) in the southern state of Kerala, India (12 December 2018–29 March 2019).Dumas' new series...
The paintings of Ellen Altfest are ethereal in their detail. Fields of minutiae come together as pulsating images; small brushstrokes of oil paint accumulate over a series of months to single out seemingly innocuous subjects, such as a hand resting atop patterned fabric (The Hand, 2011) or a deep green cactus reaching upwards from beneath a bed of...
On the rooftop of the former Rio Hotel complex in Colombo, it was hard to ignore the high-rise buildings, still under construction, blocking all but a sliver of what used to be an open view over Slave Island, once an island on Beira Lake that housed slaves in the 19th century, and now a downtown suburb. The hotel was set alight during the...
View of 'Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno,' Sky Art, 2017. Photo: Daniel Pérez.
I learned early on from the eats, such as Allen Ginsburg and William Burroughs—and the Pop artists too—that archives were very important. This was around the late 1950s, or the beginning of the '60s. So, I just saved all of my work. My parents had a house in Roslyn Heights, Long Island, and for fifty years I brought everything I made there for safekeeping. After my parents died, Ugo surveyed what I'd stored—he wanted to turn it into a project. This was around 2000. And then in 2003 we saw the Jean Cocteau retrospective at the Centre Pompidou—which was so brilliant and totally great. Ugo questioned what an archive for public consumption could look like, and his idea for the show developed over the course of fifteen years. It's shocking the way that everything sort of miraculously happened. Every element managed to come together and flourish.
Pierre Huyghe is a multi-disciplinary artist who explores the semiotics of images, and the intersection of fiction and reality through film, sculpture and public interventions. Huyghe graduated from the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts in 1985 and is renowned for his innovation of the 'post-production' technique in the 1990s, which involves the reproduction of art forms through pre-existing films and images from mass media.
Among Huyghe's most well-known work is L'Ellipse (1998), in which the artist fills the narrative gap of a jump-cut from Wim Wenders' film The American Friend (1977). Huyghe's revision stars Bruno Ganz, who also starred in the original film. In The Third Memory (2000), Huyghe blurs the line between fact and fiction by re-enacting a hold-up scene in a bank in Sidney Lumet's film Dog Day Afternoon (1975). In Huyghe's film, a protagonist playing bank robber John Wojtowicz expresses how Dog Day Afternoon influenced him instead of recounting the actual heist, thus confounding the viewer as to the actuality of the event.
Huyghe also regularly blurs fact and fiction in his public interventions and 'living systems'—environments in which he often incorporates live creatures such as insects, plants, animals and humans. A Forest of Lines (2008)—Huyghe's commission for the 2008 Biennale of Sydney—consisted of 1000 trees embedded in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House. The installation erased the boundaries between the art and its spectators, allowing them to become the performers of the work.
Huyghe regularly collaborates with other artists, namely Philippe Parreno with whom he purchased the rights to a manga character called AnnLee in 1999. AnnLee has appeared in several of his works and those of other artists, including Parreno's 3D film Anywhere Out of the World (2000), which sees AnnLee declare her ambiguous existence as exempt from copyright restrictions, calling attention to the notion of authorship that is regularly explored throughout Huyghe's practice.
Huyghe's work has been presented in numerous solo exhibitions, including Streamside Day at Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 2005; Streamside Day + Streamside Day Follies at Dia Center for the Arts, New York in 2003; and No Ghost Just A Shell at Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven in 2005, to name a few. In 2001 he received the Special Jury Prize of the 49th Venice Biennale, followed by the Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation's Hugo Boss Prize in 2002. Huyghe lives and works in Paris and New York.
Swiss-born artist Ugo Rondinone is now based in New York. He rose to international acclaim in the early 1990s with highly varied work, the result of refusing to commit to any specific style. He produces paintings, drawings, sculpture (large and small), photography, video, and sound and installation art. He is also a poet, collector and curator.
Rondinone strives to make works that meditate on everyday life and the world and particularly reflect on the theme of time, blurring the distinction between the real and artificial. He avoids producing art that is densely intellectual. In a conversation with Ocula Magazine in 2014, Rondinone claims to work with ‘very basic raw symbols, something that everyone can relate to, from a child to an old person, from the East to the West.’ The emphasis is on creating engagement through experiencing the work first, rather than a conceptual understanding.
The rainbow is one of the most common motifs in Rondinone’s work. From 1997, he began producing lit signs composed of large words—simple poetic titles and phrases—supported high in the air and following the form and colours of the rainbow. At once beautiful and fantastical, the rainbow is also an easily understood LGBT symbol, signifying the freedom to love whom one wants. For Rondinone, this symbol is especially important; he is the longtime partner of famed New York writer, poet and performer, John Giorno.
Rondinone’s use of Day-Glo rainbow colours extends into many other works. One key sculptural motif involves stacking brightly coloured rocks, seen on its grandest scale with his Seven Magic Mountains work in Nevada (11 May 2016–2018). These towers of rough-cut boulders are painted in highly artificial Day-Glo rainbow hues, as well as in black, white and silver. In a press release for the installation, Rondinone stated that he sees this combination of artificial colour and natural rock formations as a continuum ‘between human and nature, artificial and natural, then and now.’
Not all of his work involves bright colour though. Another motif consists of simple primitive figures, composed of roughly hewn stone blocks evocative of Stonehenge. Another still is of mask-like sculptures inspired by indigenous Alaskan Yup’ik masks: aluminium casts made from clay moulds, painted in a single dull colour. Another, yet again in aluminium, is the cast of ghostly olive trees, coated in white enamel.
Within the gallery context, Rondinone is most known for creating multimedia installations. He designs exhibitions that generate a holistic experience. Through meticulous planning—such as working with miniature models—he sets up relations between different works, enhancing them through the layout, colour scheme and architecture of the space itself. In these installations, he brings together different motifs developed over his career in varied configurations to generate different meanings. For example, his lacklustre clown, which appears passively in live-action, video and life-size sculptures, might sit amid his hypnotic, blurred target paintings, floating mandalas or wall paintings made of brick planes coated in single, vivid, Day-Glo colours.
Straddling the divide between gallery and public art, Rondinone has exhibited at major art institutions in the United States, Europe and China as well as at the 56th Venice Biennale, at the same time producing large-scale works for exhibitions in public spaces.
Swiss-born artist Ugo Rondinone entered Shanghai’s Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) like a human prism, shattering the usual museum wall white into the full spectrum of visible color. His solo exhibition, Breathe, Walk, Die, includes concentric circles of blurred colors, plastic filters placed over the museum’s windows to colorize the light...
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Scan the QR Code via WeChat to follow Ocula's official account.