cigarettesandwich at Sadie Coles HQ presents a new series of landscapes by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, his second show for the gallery. Controlling every aspect of the tone of the space, with the windows covered up and the walls draped in Hessian, the gallery is transformed into a cocoon. Within this stage setting we are engulfed by four huge Arcadian landscapes. The exquisite delicacy and detail of the black ink on paper drawings is off-set by their scale. The density of the images render the negative landscapes threateningly impenetrable, but like the lost children of fairy tales, curiosity draws us in.
Like all of Rondinone’s work, the landscapes reflect the artist’s interest in disrupting boundaries, be they physical, mental, biological or social, thereby questioning the tenuous and subjective nature of stability. This disquieting installation, like Rondinone’s target paintings, gender-transformation photo-pieces, or the sentimental slogans of the neon text works, reasserts his ability to upset our equilibrium, making us question our powers of perception and reconsider our need for neat compartmentalisation.
Ugo Rondinone lives and works in New York and Zurich. Recent exhibitions include No How On at Kunsthalle Wien (2002), Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome (2001), and Guided by Voices at Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, Germany (1999) and Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland.