419
419

THE HISTORY OF NOW: THE COLLECTION OF DAVID TEIGER SOLD TO BENEFIT TEIGER FOUNDATION FOR THE SUPPORT OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Ugo Rondinone
A DAY LIKE THIS.MADE OF NOTHING AND NOTHING ELSE
Estimate
Monumental item
Lots with this symbol are extremely large
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Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,131,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
419

THE HISTORY OF NOW: THE COLLECTION OF DAVID TEIGER SOLD TO BENEFIT TEIGER FOUNDATION FOR THE SUPPORT OF CONTEMPORARY ART

Ugo Rondinone
A DAY LIKE THIS.MADE OF NOTHING AND NOTHING ELSE
Estimate
Monumental item
Lots with this symbol are extremely large
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,131,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
New York

Ugo Rondinone
B. 1964
A DAY LIKE THIS.MADE OF NOTHING AND NOTHING ELSE
cast aluminum and white enamel
200 3/4 by 236 1/4 by 196 7/8 in. 509.9 by 600.1 by 500.1 cm.
Executed in 2009, this work is the artist's proof from an edition of 3, plus 1 artist's proof. 
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This work is being offered for sale from the catalogue. Prospective buyers may contact Sotheby's Contemporary Art Department with inquiries or for an appointment to view components of the work. The purchaser shall be responsible for collecting or shipping the artwork from its current location. Please contact Sotheby's Contemporary Art Department for further details. 

Provenance

Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich
Acquired from the above by David Teiger in November 2009

Exhibited

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y Léon; Aargauer, Kunsthaus Aarau, Ugo Rondinone: The Night of Lead, July 2009 - August 2010, pp. 86-87, illustrated (edition no. 1 exhibited)
CentroCentro Cibeles, Madrid, Helga de Alvear Collection: The Art of the Present, May - November 2013, pp. 20-21, illustrated in color (edition no. 2 exhibited) 

Literature

Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Conversations in Cáceres, Madrid 2012, illustrated in color on the cover
Noah Horowitz, Art of the Deal: Contemporary Art in a Global Financial Market, Princeton 2014, p. 133, illustrated 

Catalogue Note

Commanding, spectral, and august, Ugo Rondinone’s a day like this.made of nothing and nothing else masterfully evokes dialectic notions of life—indomitable and persevering, as well as death—encroaching and ever-present. The artist’s totemic tree, an archetype of foregone Arcadian splendor, is frozen on the precipice between growth and decay. Placing these opposing forces in dialogue, the present work marries monumentality with poetry, reflecting the transience of life on a cosmic scale, as well as acting as a proxy for Rondinone’s overarching artistic ethos. 

Meticulously molded from the ancient olive trees which grow outside of the artist’s ancestral Naples, a day like this.made of nothing and nothing else functions as a highly personal tether between Rondinone’s familial origins and his ever-evolving conceptual aims. As the artist explains, “what interests me about the 2000-year-old olive trees is the fact that once they are cast bare naked, they become a memoriam of condensed time. Through a cast olive tree, you can not only experience the lapse of real time that is lived time, frozen in its given form but through this transformation also a different calibrated temporality. Time can be experienced as a lived abstraction, where the shape is formed by this accumulation of time and wind force. If my work, in general, has a nonlinear approach to the world, then the system and concept of time, which has occupied my work since the beginning, gives me a certain sense of grounding” (Ugo Rondinone, Creative Time, New York, Art on the Plaza: air gets into everything even nothing & get up girl a sun is running the world, 2007). Acting as a locus of compressed time, the present work plays with notions of perception and temporality, projecting a myriad of conceptual associations by functioning as a bridge connecting the banal and the strange. 

Rondinone thrives in these liminal spaces between the known and the unknown, crafting objects that defy categorization and hold within them auras of memory and loss. Exemplary of this enduring thread within Rondinone's oeuvre, the present work oscillates between nearly platonic mimesis and a hitherto alien form, connecting the mundane with the unfamiliar. Every knot and twisted limb acts as a record of a hard-won battle to survive the brutalities of the lived environment, yet their lack of foliage and color destabilizes easy readings of these signifiers; concepts of abundance, age, and experience are all frozen in time without origin or destination. The contrast inherent to the sculpture's organic subject matter and pointedly industrial material composition establishes a day like this.made of nothing and nothing else as both a record of progress as well as a harbinger of endpoints and conclusions, signifying through its eternal preservation the capacity for the world around it to decay.

Beyond the present work’s relationship to time, it is an exemplar of the central theme undergirding Rondinone’s oeuvre: depictions of nature and how they can be made to reflect human subjectivity. Well known for his large-scale monochromatic drawings of verdant pre-modern forests, the artist’s fixation on nature serves as a vehicle to explore the interplay between emotional interiority and society. As David Thorpe explains, “the relationship between the modern artist, art and the landscape as a site for melancholy reflection, is primary in Ugo Rondinone’s work. His installations are landscapes within which he can express his separateness from the outer world, by creating indoor rooms which act as equivalents of real life” (David Thorpe, “Artist in Landscape” in Exh. Cat., London, Whitechapel Gallery, Ugo Rondinone: Zero Built a Nest in My Navel, 2006, p. 275). In the present work, Rondinone has identified himself with his subject matter. Without a natural setting to call its own, the work fundamentally alters the space it inhabits, forming a novel environment. a day like this.made of nothing and nothing else, in its resistance to easy classification, mirrors the relationship between the inner self and society, engaging notions of existentialism in the tradition of Jean-Paul Sartre and Francis Bacon.  

A treatise in form, material, and scale, Rondinone’s sculpture takes the quotidian and transforms it into something deeply alluring. As David Thorpe explains, the artist’s “ancient olive trees whisper in oracular voices, guiding us or leading us astray” (Ibid 277). Grand, wizened, and alchemical, a day like this.made of nothing and nothing else is both recognizable and mystifying, leaving an unshakable impression which endures in glimpses like half-remembered dreams.

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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New York