The Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt is dedicating a first major survey exhibition in Germany to Ugo Rondinone (*1964). “LIFE TIME” presents key paintings, sculptures, and video works by the Swiss artist, who is one of the internationally best-known of his generation. In his works, he adds a poetic dimension to everyday things and phenomena. A tree, a clock, the sun or a rainbow – by means of repetition, isolation or reduction, he positions them in new contexts in his typically rather minimalistically arranged spaces, creating atmospheric ambiences. Specifically for the Schirn, he groups around eighty of his works into new constellations and sequences, creating a unique installation that extends along the entire length of the gallery, into the Rotunda, and onto the roof. In response to the location, the artist developed curved standing landscape with entry door (2022), one of his monumental landscape sculptures made of soil. Further, thousands of pictures of the moon, drawn by children especially for the exhibition, are presented under the title your age and my age and the age of the moon (2014–ongoing) —a meditation on the universe.
Image above: Frankfurt 2022, Photo: Norbert Miguletz
The exhibition “LIFE TIME” combines essential themes that have shaped Ugo Rondinone’s work for the past thirty years: time and transience, day and night, reality and fiction, nature and culture. Central aspects in the work of the conceptual and installation artist are the principle of the series and the variation of motifs in various media. Works of art emerge from other works of art, each of which are part of a series while forming relationships that transcend individual works within Rondinone’s artistic system. His material observations connect the subjective with the universal and create a sensually aesthetic bridge to things that are not man-made. In his works, Rondinone returns time and again to the iconography of Romanticism, weaving it into a dense fabric of art history, literature, and pop culture. The starting point of his multimedia oeuvre is the transformation of the outside world into a subjective, emotional inner world. He devises experiential spaces in which space and time disappear in the individual rhythm of perception and the viewers themselves become part of the installations and their immersive structures.
“Following Ugo Rondinone’s work for many years with great enthusiasm, I am all the more delighted that the artist has accepted our invitation to present his first major survey exhibition in Germany at the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. His works have been exhibited all over the world, and his luminous rainbows from New York, Paris, and Shanghai are well known. Now one of these great works shines above the Schirn in Frankfurt. Although Rondinone is one of the best-known artists of his generation, his work, underpinned by a peculiar poetry and grounded in a subjective, quasi-universal phenomenology, invariably remains both fascinating and poignant.”Dr. Philipp Demandt, director of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Ugo Rondinone was born in 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland, in the canton of Schwyz, and has lived in New York since 1998. His works have been shown in solo exhibitions in many museums and galleries around the world, including the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, the Kunsthalle Wien, the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow, the Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
“Shaped by biographical experiences such as his first partner’s untimely death from AIDS, Ugo Rondinone’s works address existential themes. A fundamental melancholic mood in terms of a universal worldview is found in each of his works. Both the serially applied motif and the structural plan that is reflected in the title, for example, are part of this concept. In addition, there are recurring art-historical references, the exploration of a variety of media, and a participatory element. It is on the basis of these diverse levels within his art that viewers are inevitably drawn into the maelstrom of Rondinone’s cosmos.”Matthias Ulrich, curator of the exhibition
The exhibition “Ugo Rondinone: LIFE TIME” is supported by Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. The children’s project “Schirn Stars” is supported by the Verein der Freunde der Schirn Kunsthalle e.V.
A catalogue is published: Ugo Rondinone. LIFE TIME, edited by Matthias Ulrich, with contributions by Dominic Eichler, Brigitte Franzen, and Matthias Ulrich, and a foreword by Philipp Demandt, director of the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. German/English edition.
Exhibition dates: Friday, 24. June – Sunday, 18. September 2022
Artist talk: Friday, 24. June 2022 at 7 pm, Ugo Rondinone and curator Matthias Ulrich will talk about the exhibition followed by a book signing in the foyer.
Schirn Summer Party: Friday, 22. July 2022, from 6 pm. The exhibitions “Ugo Rondinone: LIFE TIME” and “Aernout Mik. Double Bind / Threshold Barriers” will be open until 10 pm. There will also be live music by DJ Sofie Royer and rapper Kay Shanghai.
Opening hours: Tue, Fri + Sun 10 am – 7 pm, Wed + Thu 10 am – 10 pm
Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt