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Lot 3452 - A205 PostWar & Contemporary - Thursday, 22. June 2023, 02.00 PM


(Brunnen 1962–lives and works in Vienna)
Acrylic airbrush on canvas and silkscreen on plexiglass plaque.
Diameter 220 cm.

- Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich (verso with the label).
- Purchased from the above by the present owner in 1998, since then private collection Switzerland.

Website: www.ugorondinone.com/artwork/14698/.

A colourful, shimmering, vibrating mandala rises up before the viewer. Concentric circles of dark red, white, orange, light blue and pink, interspersed again and again with black, stretch across the large-format work to the bright green centre. While the red, outermost layer of paint is applied opaquely, the other colours are sprayed. The overlapping of colour, the fine transition at the edges of the circle and the particular flow of the sprayed acrylic make the work pulsate, almost float.

Mandala paintings have been an integral part of the oeuvre of the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone since 1991. In his extensive oeuvre, unlike almost any other artist, he devotes himself to concrete, limited themes (time, the cosmic cycle and the contrast between day and night), which he translates into equally well-defined series (landscapes, mandalas, horizons, windows, stars and walls). On the other hand, the question of the medium is not a limitation – he creates paintings, sculptures, room-sized installations, video works etc. The titles are always written as the full date of when the work was created. This gives the works, which often lack an individual hand, owing to the technique used, a very personal character.

The mandala paintings can be read as an intensive examination of 20th century abstract art. On the one hand, there are of course, Jasper John's Target Paintings, which appear repeatedly in his body of work from 1955 onwards. The psychedelic moment of the vibrating circles is reminiscent of Victor Vasarely's Op Art. The unfathomable tones, on the other hand, awaken our memories of the Colour Field painting of a Mark Rothko or Kenneth Noland. The use of the shaped canvas goes back, of course, to the Minimalists around Frank Stella, who thereby liberated painting from the classic rectangular canvas; even before that, art history knows the tondo in Renaissance painting.

In his analysis, Ugo Rondinone develops his own unmistakable signature style, characterised by technical perfection, strict concentration on themes and their stringent realisation, as well as a virtuoso handling of colour.

Rondinone is currently showcasing his passion and curiosity about art and art history at the Museé d'art et d'histoire in Geneva, where he is presenting the museum’s collection in relation to his own works and completely redesigning the exhibition space.

CHF 100 000 / 200 000 | (€ 103 090 / 206 190)

Sold for CHF 183 300 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.