Ugo Rondinone’s Sun paintings are reproduced at unprecedented scale in a display-worthy elephant folio, published in a limited edition of 345 copies.
New York–based, Swiss-born conceptual artist Ugo Rondinone’s Sun paintings are among his most celebrated series. Begun in 1992 and spanning three decades, the Sun works reflect Rondinone’s inter-ests in nineteenth-century German Romanticism and Tibetan mysticism as vehicles to explore natural phenomena and interior states. Rondinone began the Sun series by directing his gaze inward (a coun-terpoint to his contemporaneous plein air works), translating his emotional state to circular bands of watercolor on paper. To create distance between these diaristic studies and the viewer, Rondinone then altered the media and scale: expanding the Suns to more than seven feet in diameter and exchanging tremulous watercolor for seamless airbrush. Main-taining a consistent form and naming strategy—the German date of the work—Rondinone cycled through more than 370 color combinations, ranging from strong contrasts to barely perceptible shifts.
Sometimes referred to as mandala works, the Sun paintings fill the viewer’s field of vision with pulsing color. At 19 by 22 inches, this elephant folio creates an intense optical experience at close range. Complete with reproductions of all 219 large works and 154 smaller canvases and prints, Ugo Rondinone: The Sun is the most comprehensive source on the series to date.
About The Author
Bob Nickas is a writer and curator based in New York. He has organized over 120 exhibitions since 1984. He served as a curatorial advisor at MoMA/PS1 between 2004 and 2007 and on the teams for the 2003 Biennale de Lyon and Greater New York 2005 at MoMA/PS1. He was founding editor of Index magazine. His books include Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting and four collections of writing and interviews.