Ugo Rondinone (born 1964 Brunnen, Switzerland) is a New-York based mixed-media artist whose works explore themes of fantasy and desire. Many of his pieces coax the viewer into a meditative state like the blurred, brightly colored, concentric rings of his target-shaped paintings; or his strictly black and white landscapes of gnarled trees that seem to bristle with energy. His large rainbow signs are just as enigmatically alluring with their imperative affirmations of “Hell, Yes!” or “Our Magic Hour.” These signs seem to point to some hidden aspect of our reality and history. One sign, “Dog Days Are Over,” proclaims an end to a period of turmoil, but what that period is remains unclear. The signs encapsulate and make palpable an unnamed collective desire, and, in turn, inspire a new one: to understand why this hour, for example, is so magical.
Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, Pure Moonlight 2013. Almine Rech Gallery, Paris.