press release

Ugo Rondinone, The First Hour of Poem, 2005, Courtesy Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich and Sadie Coles HQ, London and Matthew Marks Gallery, New YorkAfter his participation in the group show “EGOmania”, Ugo Rondinone makes his return to the Galleria Civica of Modena with a solo exhibition entitled: “Ugo Rondinone. Giorni Felici”, curated by Milovan Farronato in collaboration with Angela Vettese. The exhibition, organised and produced by the Galleria Civica of Modena and by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Modena, presents a series of new works – some of which created especially for this show — and represents the first large-scale exhibition by the Swiss artist in Italy despite his remarkable international presence.

The one-man show, housed in the Sala Grande as well as in the Sale Nuove of Palazzo Santa Margherita, will be opened on Saturday 16th September 2006 at 12pm, acting as a sideline to the philosophy festival. Dedicated this year to the theme of humankind, it will be held in Modena, Carpi and Sassuolo from Friday 15th until Sunday 17th September 2006 (

Ugo Rondinone has been defined as a visionary artist trapped in reality. In fact, through his articulate production in which styles and media are deliberately combined, his poetics allow us to access his inner-most worlds, dominated by melancholy and resignation, leading us along a similar path of inner self-analysis.

Metaphorically, all of his exhibiting pathways pan out like a long white corridor with various doors leading off into just as many other rooms and to other doors, provoking a sensation in the spectator akin to that felt when one walks without a clear sense of direction to follow. The most likely outcome is that one then finds oneself lost within a mental labyrinth, similar to that which the artist plots out in his huge black and white forest paintings, removed from any sense of time, or defines through his articulate Plexiglas structures.

Rondinone is like a traveller capable of preserving and communicating his memories to others, be it a dense thicket of branches and leaves, or an infinite expanse of still waters, he always shows a tendency towards surrender in the face of life, of its greatness, of the responsibility that being human entails. There is no challenge here to this way of interpreting existence, but rather an acceptance of our fate, be it sweet or melancholic.

Each of his works seems to correspond to a ‘haiku’, a brief, open-ended Japanese verse that defines an aspect of nature or a simple everyday act. “Raining chains”, “a paper snow flurry”, “lines forming horizons” are both synthetic indications of materials used and thorough descriptions of some of his works.

At the Galleria Civica of Modena, the visitor will pass along looming, slanted, mirrored walls, some of which decorated by the artist with hinted drawings; s/he will come face to face with spiky, aggressive walls, which might withhold other images or revelations, or which perhaps aim merely to shape the emptiness. Through over 300 black and white photographs with a soundtrack commentary, s/he will be asked to follow the story of a search for love: two figures chase after each other, looking for one another in a scenario muffled by the snow, without ever finding each other, running constantly in different directions.

Lastly, the spectator will find him/herself caught up in the obsessive repetition of the same element hanging from the ceiling tracing out unlikely festoons or in the midst of a hazy blue smoke. The exhibition will be accompanied by publication created especially for the occasion by the artist.

Exhibition Opening 16th September 2006, 12pm Curated by Milovan Farronato in collaboration with Angela Vettese Organisation and Production Galleria Civica of Modena Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Modena Venues Sala Grande and Sale Nuove, Palazzo Santa Margherita, corso Canalgrande 103, Modena


only in german

Ugo Rondinone
Giorni Felici
Organisation: Galleria Civica of Modena; Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio of Modena
Kuratoren: Milovan Farronato, Angela Vettese
Orte: Palazzo Santa Margherita, Modena

Special guest: John Giorno will perform during the opening day inside Ugo Rondinone’s show.