October 4, 2014 - Rockbund Art Museum - BREATHE WALK DIE
October 4, 2014


UGO RONDINONE: BREATHE WALK DIE, 2014. Exhibition view. Courtesy Rockbund Art Museum.

September 13, 2014–January 4, 2015

Rockbund Art Museum
No.20 Huqiu Road


The Rockbund Art Museum is thrilled to introduce the very first exhibition in China of the internationally acclaimed artist Ugo Rondinone, born in 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland, and living in New York since 1997.
Rondinone develops extremely precise series of artworks exploring the infinite possibilities of painting, video, sculpture, installation, photography, sound and performance. Primitive, conceptual, romantic, minimalist, abstract or figure like, these labels are possible but too reductive to describe the richness of Rondinone’s work. Indeed, his œuvre constantly exceeds the art categories, inviting the visitors to experience emotional states of fantasy, meditation, critical thinking which cultivate our desire for ongoing transformation and re-invention.

For his very first solo exhibition in China, Rondinone conceived a groundbreaking series of new colorful artworks united into one art statement. Rondinone responded to the straight verticality of RAM’s architecture with unexpected colorful horizon wall paintings and concentric rings paintings, creating unlimited spaces in which the references to panorama and landscape are subverted as extensions rather than frontiers and delimitations.

Such exhibition could have been reduced to a pure formalist display but Rondinone distributed in the Museum 40 colorful clown performers who, queerly, are not here to entertain the visitors but they are all turned into inner mental space. Walking through the Museum’s foyers and stairs, the visitors experience multi-colored window filters instilling into the building immersive lights. But this romantic walk might somehow be disturbed by the laughter of a mysterious sound installation. The sixth-floor cafe of RAM is especially tailored to welcome the contribution of children with rainbow drawings.

BREATHE WALK DIE as the rainbow neon sign on the north façade of the museum and the title of the whole exhibition embodies perfectly how simple and enigmatic, how imperative and simultaneously poetic could be the affirmation and allure of such statement, opening up the loop of time and life to unexpected creations.

Ugo Rondinone states: “Since 2007 all my exhibitions have used the natural colors of the material that was used in the production of the work: stone, clay, earth, bronze or aluminum. It’s now time to bring back all the colors of the spectrum. This exhibition will combine different color works from the past and the present into one unifying installation.”

Rondinone’s large rainbow sign BREATHE WALK DIE embodies perfectly how simple and enigmatic, how imperative and simultaneously poetic the affirmation and allure of BREATHE WALK DIE could be. This new neon sign, following others like WE ARE POEMS, HELL YES!, or OUR MAGICAL HOUR seems to point out both raw reality and hidden aspects of our history. The sign encapsulates and makes palpable an unnamed collective desire, and, in turn, inspires a new one: to understand why this hour, for example, is so magical.

–Larys Frogier
Curator of the exhibition and Director of RAM

BREATHE WALK DIE will be accompanied by a scholarly catalogue and a full roster of public programs. The book for the exhibition will gather for the very first time the full colored artworks produced by Ugo Rondinone from 2006 to now.

Rockbund Art Museum presents BREATHE WALK DIE
Rockbund Art Museum
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