Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
Artist Ugo Rondinone’s Nude exhibition closed yesterday at the Gladstone Gallery in Chelsea, but I felt compelled to post these images since the sculptures have lingered in my mind since I saw them on Wednesday.
The cast wax human forms look at first like mannequins that have collapsed in the gallery due to exhaustion or perhaps melancholia.
In a Chelsea white box, Rondinone’s forms look lonely. The cool wintery light of December amplified my reaction and as spectators walked by wearing their puffy winter coats, the forms’ nudity made them feel vulnerable.
Last night I was walking under the BQE highway overpass in Williamsburg on my way to a holiday party in Carroll Gardens. I saw a man seated on a car seat bench hidden under a thick blanket who was urinating onto the pavement from where he sat. When I returned later that night the bench had moved about 20 feet — probably in an effort to position himself away from the cold winds — but he was still obviously hidden underneath his giant blanket. As I witnessed this holiday season tragedy all I could think of was Rondinone’s Nudes. I pictured the man’s vulnerability to the elements and himself. The condition of being nude is as much an emotional as a physical state of being, and while there is a difference between nude and naked, the distinctions collapsed in my mind as I saw that man sleeping in the streets. The scene — and Rondinone’s sculptures — represented to me the condition of being human and exposed to the world. The two scenes together made me cry as the art works in my memory amplified the feelings stirred in me by the sight of the homeless man.
I didn’t help the man under the blanket, as I remember being paralyzed with my own visceral reactions, unable to act, though I admit to never knowing how to react when confronted with such disparity.
Rondinone’s seven wax figures have no narrative, only symbolic meaning. They became a prism for me to see the world of that man on the bench last night and they made me feel connected for a moment to him as I felt our fragile state of being human.
Ugo Rondinone’s Nude was on display at Gladstone Gallery from November 6 to December 23, 2010.
While staying as a house guest, a naked Le Corbusier defiled Gray’s minimalist, color-blocked walls that were only restored in 2015.
Keep your friends close and your bad art friends closer.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
In his new book, Tyler Green argues that landscape was Emerson’s method of glorifying territories shaped and bordered by white men.
“The 52-hertz Whale,” which sings a song at a frequency no other whale uses, is a social media phenomenon. But this film shows that the phenomenon says more about us than whales.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
The unvarnished photographs celebrate the lives, beauty, and resilience of an oppressed group at Chile’s social peripheries in the 1980s, and the series was recently acquired by MOCA in Los Angeles.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.