Location: Kula Gallery (10 Kralja Tomislava Street)
Duration: November 3rd to February 17th, 2024.
The exhibition by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, based in New York, is conceived as a continuation of a series of international artistic visits to the Kula Gallery. This artist uses various forms of artistic expression, including sculpture, painting, video, photography, and more. Rondinone's work is not entirely hermetic; he primarily operates with symbols that are understandable and known to all, regardless of age, gender, race, or nationality. The artist's goal is to directly engage the observer with his work, which leads to various experiences and interpretative expansions. This is also the case with this Split exhibition, titled "Luminous Light."
In the Kula Gallery, Rondinone presents a piece created specifically for this space. The artwork features a thunderbolt in a complex composition anchored in the gallery floor, completely covered in sand. This creates an environment that includes a visual, haptic, and auditory dimension in the field of experience. The current appearance of a thunderbolt, usually observed in the distance, is brought closer to the visitor through a bronze body visually lightened with yellow color. Rondinone's static thunderbolt, set amidst loose material, becomes a mental playground where, on one hand, creation and destruction merge in opposition, and on the other, it stimulates and recalls various belief systems in which the thunderbolt appears as a symbol of divinity, from Greek mythology to Catholicism and Hinduism. Of course, one should not neglect the thought of the primordial fear of lightning. To control it, almost in an animistic way, it is introduced into the closed, late-antique space, which becomes like a cave where worship rituals are performed in relative safety. With this artistic endeavor in Split, Ugo Rondinone draws attention in his unique way to the uncontrolled dynamics of nature and advocates for a period of reason. (Text by Dalibor Prančević)
Ugo Rondinone is known as one of the prominent representatives of his generation, an artist who creates vivid meditations on nature and the human condition while simultaneously developing an organic formal expression that connects various sculptural and painterly traditions. The breadth and generosity of his vision of human nature have resulted in a diverse spectrum of two-dimensional and three-dimensional objects, installations, videos, and performances. His hybrid forms, drawing from both ancient and modern cultures, radiate pathos and humor, directly addressing the core issues of our time where modernist achievements meet archaic expressions.
Ugo Rondinone was born in 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland. He studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna before relocating to New York in 1997, where he continues to live and work. His work has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris (2003); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2006); Art Institute of Chicago (2013); Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai (2014); Palais de Tokyo (2015); Secession, Vienna (2015); Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2016); MACRO, Rome (2016); Carre D’Art, Nimes (2016); Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley; Contemporary Art Center Cincinnati, Cincinnati (2017); Bass Museum of Art, Miami (2017); Belvedere, Vienna (2021); Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2022); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2022); Petit Palais, Paris (2022); Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista di Venezia, Venice (2022); Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva (2023); Storm King, New York (2023); and Städel Museum, Frankfurt (2023). In 2007, he represented Switzerland at the 52nd Venice Biennale. Upcoming exhibitions include: The Phillips Collection, Washington, and Fosun Foundation, Shanghai.
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