During walks around Vienna last summer, Ugo Rondinone made a number of drawings. In these sketches he picked out windows and architectural details from the city’s buildings. For my endless numbered days, these have been transferred, as pencil on white canvas into a series of beautifully delicate, iconic paintings. On the reverse of each canvas are images cut from The New York Times on the date each painting was made. The blunt reality of these images creates a jolt after the delicate fairytale like musings of a flâneur in the city.
The casual installation of these airy, wistful paintings together with a group of simple sculptures, based on the choreographing of different units, reflects the idea of hours idled away. The works evoke the pleasure of time that doesn’t necessarily have to be filled - the ideal conditions for having ideas and making art. The informality behind the grouping takes its inspiration from a type of photograph showing great modern collections in the 1950s, such as Peggy Guggenheim’s installations in her home or gallery. With this allusion, Rondinone gives voice to a romantic nostalgia for this reverence for leisure and for art created as part of that process.
Ugo Rondinone lives and works in New York and Zurich. This, his third show at Sadie Coles HQ coincides with his first major museum show in the UK, at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. An extensive catalogue raisonné of his work is to be published at the same time.