Ugo Rondinone’s Whimsical Art Installation with Clowns

Ugo Rondinone is a contemporary artist from Switzerland based in New York. He uses a broad array of materials to create his modern art: from foam to video and everything in between. His art often dances passionately between crazy happiness and sheer sadness, leaving it to the viewers where on the spectrum they are that day.

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Rondinone’s art installations are total art statements, offering the visitor a multi-sensory moment that, in his words, “revolutionizes your whole being.”

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“Vocabulary of solitude is an installation with life-size clown figures cast various ages and ethnicities. The contemporary sculptures take inspiration from the artist’s reflection on his daily actions, where each figure is engaged in a different quotidian activity, such as sleeping, dreaming, remembering, showering and walking.

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The clowns are all named after simple, active verbs—smoke, laugh, stand, and so on—that emphasize presence at the moment over our more constructed social, economic, and political roles. The neutral expressions of the clown’s masks create some ambiguity about the emotional state, Rondinone hopes to extract reactions from audiences.

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This hypnotic artwork is carefully layered in groups that include a neon rainbow, colored gels on the windows, floating mandalas, blurred target paintings, painted windows, gradient color walls and the surreal cast of life-size, clown sculptures.

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As the introduction video of the exhibition shows, Ugo Rondinone is a perfectionist. Every element, each clown, every single rainbow, is exactly where he had them planned beforehand. You can be sure that every exhibition you see of him is a carefully thought-through installation.

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