“The title of the exhibition a sky . a sea . distant mountains . horses . spring . reads simultaneously as a stage direction and a checklist of archetypes that take into account the watery, fluctuating state of life as it is lived, complete with the fullest range of emotions, desires and dreams. As in dreams, they are visible signs for something invisible. Taken together, they define the intersection of symbolism and spirituality.”
– Ugo Rondinone, 2021
The spring exhibition at Sadie Coles HQ features new sculptures and paintings by Ugo Rondinone, in which the artist, continuously inspired by the natural world, animates profane subjects like horses, the sea, and the sky to become vessels of spiritual contemplation. Marking the end of lockdown, the exhibition – which spans both London galleries – articulates themes of time, nature, renewal and the psyche, both in its individual parts and as an eclectic whole.
At Davies Street, Rondinone is showing four multipart paintings that reinvent his long-running Mountain sculptures in two dimensions. Each painting collapses the formula of stacked, painted rocks into three shaped canvases – arranged vertically and painted in single brilliant hues. The paintings restage an ambiguity – between sculpted form and painterly surface – that was central to the Mountain sculptures. The contoured outline of each canvas (suggestive of a monolithic volume) is offset by the flatness of its pigmentation – oil paint has been applied rapidly, in broad strokes, to the gesso-rendered surface.
In their hard, bright surfaces, Rondinone’s new Mountain paintings are the opposite of his new watercolours, in which the pigment sinks in multiple layers into the fabric support. Upstairs, a cycle of smaller watercolours repeat and multiply the form of a celestial body hovering over a tranquil sea – their varying colours evoking a panoply of sunrises and sunsets, or rising or plunging moons. Collectively, the paintings express a dualism of diurnal time (the twenty-four cycle) and cosmic time. They also perhaps suggest the capacity for these separate magnitudes to blur together, capturing the way in which – as Virginia Woolf observed – “An hour once it lodges in the queer element of the human spirit may be stretched to fifty or a hundred times its clock length; on the other hand, an hour may be accurately represented on the timepiece of the mind by one second.”
|Duration||12 April 2021 - 14 May 2021|
|Venue||Sadie Coles (Davies Street)|
|Address||1 Davies Street, London, W1K 3DB|
|Contact||020 7493 8611 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.sadiecoles.com|