- Ugo Rondinone
- acrylic on canvas, in 2 parts
Matthew Marks Gallery, New York
Underlying all Rondinone's work is a tension between interior essence and exterior appearance, enacted in the first instance through a disparity between form and content...Hypnotic target paintings, rendered in hazy concentric circles of vivid colour, induce feelings of meditative, transcendental reflection.
(Andrea Tarsia, ed., Ugo Rondinone: Zero Built a Nest in my Naval, London 2005, p. 273)
A rare diptych of raw visual power that draws the viewer into fathomless space, Ugo Rondinone's elftermaizweitausendundsechs, 2006 engages an elemental duality of competing optical forces to afford a powerful viewing experience. The progression of circular bands of luminous color is reversed in each of the two round paintings, yet the attraction and presence of each is equal. Just as our eye is lured into the hypnotic depths of one canvas it is enticed to the other, the work thereby striking a subtle equilibrium and energising the spatial distance between and around the two paintings.
Executed around the same time as Rondinone's first major show in the UK, at the prestigious Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, and one year before the artist represented Switzerland, together with Urs Fischer, at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007, elftermaizweitausendundsechs belongs to an important moment in his career that witnessed the worthy consolidation of his international artistic reputation. Paradigmatic of Rondinone's world-renowned target paintings, this work evokes something of the characters of both Op Art and colorfield painting. However, with its concisely perfunctory title and unmatched means of execution, elftermaizweitausendundsechs, ultimately represents the artist's brilliant and immediately-recognizable innovation.