Renown Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone presents a solo show of work at Guild Hall that explores the sun as motif and metaphor. "ugo rondinone: sunny days" opens Saturday, August 10, 2019 and continues on view through October 14, 2019. The exhibition features sun-themed sculpture and paintings, as well as as art as a result of a collaboration with area school children, presented in three distinct exhibitions.

In a series of eight “sun paintings,” Rondinone references the radiance and universal symbolism of the sun. This imagery was incorporated into his art from 1991 to 2010 and uses canvas spray-painted with soft concentric yellow rings as a representation of the sun and the impossibility of seeing its form with the naked eye. The last never-before-assembled group of eight sun paintings will be installed in Guild Hall’s Woodhouse Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Christina Strassfield, Museum Director and Chief Curator of Guild Hall Museum.

A selection of large sun sculptures will be placed at alternating angles in Guild Hall’s Moran Gallery. These large-scale circular rings are made from vine branches which were cast in aluminum and then gilded. The artist chose to depict the vine as a symbol of renewal because of its life cycle from growth to dormancy and rebirth to a fruitful state every year—reminiscent of the solar cycle. The sun sculptures are made by each time of the day.


"the sun at 3pm" by Ugo Rondinone, 2018. Gilded bronze, 225 × 238 cm (sculpture), 47 × 14 x 24 cm (pedestal). Courtesy of Studio Rondinone and Guild Hall.

"the sun at 3pm" by Ugo Rondinone, 2018. Gilded bronze, 225 × 238 cm (sculpture), 47 × 14 x 24 cm (pedestal). Courtesy of Studio Rondinone and Guild Hall.


Following similar projects that Rondinone has carried out in Rotterdam, Shanghai, Rome, Berkeley, Cincinnati and Moscow, the artist invited children from the East End to help him create a gallery of sun drawings. Students from local schools, daycare centers and after school participated and created depictions of the sun, installed salon style in the Spiga Gallery.

Rondinone, who has a home on the North Fork, is a New York-based, Swiss-born mixed-media artist who has spent the last 25 years working in a diverse range of mediums, including painting, drawing, photography, video, installation, and sculpture. Rondinone moves fluidly between figuration and abstraction, regardless of the medium which can include mandala paintings, large-scale drawings from nature, multi-channel video environments, painted stone sculptures or full-scale clown figures.

He often incorporates the theme of time and space in his work and explores the emotional and psychic understanding found in the most basic elements of everyday life. In the exhibition at Guild Hall, the work centers on the sun and its radiance.

The exhibition is accompanied by a brochure which features an essay by Bob Nickas. It is available for free at the museum.

Ugo Rondinone's work has been the subject of numerous recent solo shows presented nationally and internationally including Bass Museum of Art (Miami); The Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston); Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley, CA); Garage Museum of Contemporary Art (Moscow); Place Vendôme, (Paris); MACRO and Mercati di Traiano (Rome);  Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum of Cycladic Art (Athens); Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Vienna); and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle (Belgium), among others.

In 2016, Rondinone’s large-scale public work seven magic mountains opened outside Las Vegas, co-produced by the Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art. In 2017, Rondinone curated a city-wide exhibition, "Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno," which honored the artist’s life partner in 13 venues throughout Manhattan.


BASIC FACTS: "ugo rondinone: sunny days" will be on view August 10 to October 14, 2019 at Guild Hall, 158 Main Street, East Hampton, NY 11937. Admission to the museum is free.

On Saturday, August 10, 2019, museum members can sign up to attend a Conversation with Ugo Rondinone and Bob Nickas from 4 to 5 p.m. followed by a Private Member Reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Not a member? Click here to sign up.


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