Breathe, Walk, Die (2016) Ugo Rondinone

Max Dereta
About the artwork

Clowns, rainbows, parties, but also deep black gloom determine the colorful work of the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen placed this artwork, a 'rainbow poem' of the words Breathe, Walk, Die, on the roof above the director's room on the occasion of the opening of Rondinone's solo exhibition Vocabulary or Sollitude in 2016. The luminous rainbow briefly summarizes the volatility of life in just three words. In 2007 there was temporarily another 'rainbow poem' by Rondinone in Rotterdam. The work was on the roof of a former bank building on Coolsingel Big Mind Sky. This work was part of the temporary exhibition 'Public', organized by Sculpture International Rotterdam to draw attention to the renovation and redesign of the Coolsingel. Due to the renovation of the museum, the artwork has been temporarily placed in storage.

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About the artist

Artist Ugo Rondinone (Brunnen, Switzerland, 1964) studied from 1986 to 1990 at the University of Applied Art in Vienna and has been working and living in Harlem, New York since 1998. He makes his work in various techniques (mixed media) with the border between euphoria and depression as the theme. He gives images from our everyday environment a different dimension by enlarging them or isolating them. The artwork was in 2013 Human Nature on display, a group of monumental stone figures on the square of Rockefeller Center. Another well-known work has been on display in the Nevada desert since 2016: Seven Magic Mountains. These are 7 brightly colored pillars of piled up rocks, each about 10 meters high and visible from a wide area. In the spring of 2016 he had his first solo exhibition in the Netherlands at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. An installation consisting of 45 life-size clowns sculptures, which exposed the various facets of human existence. Rondinone represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and had major solo exhibitions in Center Pompidou, Kunsthalle Wien and Palais de Tokyo, among others.

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