Saturday, 11 August 2012

Nude - Ugo Rondinone

Nude by Ugo Rondinone at the Cycladic Museum of Art

This is a site specific installation. Rondinone intervened and changed everything about the space: the floor, the light, the colours of the walls and ceiling, creating an otherworld, dreamlike environment. A special sculpture wall was installed at the entrance of the first room thus separating the world he created from the rest of the museum.

This is the first view after entering the space, past the sculpture wall. It is a real shame about the tape on the floor: while I was in the gallery I was able to ignore it, but this is not possible with photographs.

Figure I.

The installation consists of seven life-sized figures, in peaceful repose on the floor.

a different view.

a closer look.

Figure II

The figures are cast in wax directly from the bodies of young dancers. They are jointed like store-window manequins and are exquisitely detailed. The sections of each figure are different earth colours, a mixture of wax and earth pigments.

a diffferent view

The way these resting figures have been positioned  is as moving as the figures themselves.

Figure III

looking closer

Naked and vulnerable, they seem to be resting after a performance

a slightly different view

These first three figures were exhibited in three separate rooms

the last four figures, occupy the large end room of the gallery

Figure IV

Rondinone's work spans a diverse range of mediums, including painting, drawing, photography, video, installation and sculpture.

Figure V

He tends to work in series,  selecting a medium and subject that he then explores in multiple variations.

His work has included: installations of ghostly casts of  olive trees, oversized versions of Chinese scholar rocks and suspended large wax pigment light bulbs.


more detail

Figure VI

so vulnerable

He has also produced photographic self-portraits, titled 'I Don't Live Here Anymore'

Figure VII

His characteristic large rainbow signs are mounted on buildings all over the world


slightly different view


Still Figure VII, with Clockwork Without Arms, 1911, (stained slass window, steel frame)

looking closer.

a last look.

I went to the museum very early and I was lucky to be the only visitor (lots arrived later but I had finished photographing by then).  I would like to mention how helpful the guard was who would constantly move behind doorways so that he would not be in the photographs. The Cycladic Museum is fantastic about allowing photography and I would like to acknowledge this as it is so unusual in galleries and museums.


  1. Replies
    1. It was a stunning exhibition. I did not want to leave....