June 8, 2012 - Museum of Cycladic Art - Ugo Rondinone and Jannis Kounellis
June 8, 2012

Ugo Rondinone and Jannis Kounellis

Ugo Rondinone, nude (xxxxxxxxxxxxx), 2011. Wax, earth pigments, 74 x 109 x 64 cm.*

Ugo Rondinone

until 19 September 2012

Jannis Kounellis
until 30 September 2012

Museum of Cycladic Art
4 Neofytou Douka st
10674 Athens, Greece
Hours: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat, 10–17
Thu, 10–20; Sun, 11–17


Ugo Rondinone
Ugo Rondinone has created a new, site-specific installation for the Museum of Cycladic Art. Rondinone intervened and changed everything about the space—the floor, the light, and the colors of the walls and ceiling—to create his characteristically otherworldly, dreamlike environment. Seven life-sized nude figures inhabit the space, in peaceful repose, informally placed on the floor. Jointed like store-window mannequins, the figures are exquisitely detailed, as they are cast in wax directly from the human body. The sections of each figure are made of different earth colors, a mixture of wax and earth pigments. Naked and vulnerable, they seem to be resting after or before a performance. Rondinone chose dancers at the peak of their youth, bodies full of energy to accentuate the contradiction with their state of inactivity and introspection. In the context of the Museum of Cycladic Art, where the figurines of the permanent collection, dating from 3000 BC, remain hermetically closed, resting in enigmatic serenity, Rondinone’s figures invite the viewer to reflect on the evolution of the figuration through the centuries but also on how humanity deals with existential questions through time.

Ugo Rondinone has earned international attention for his poetic, evocative work across a diverse range of mediums, including painting, drawing, photography, video, installation, and sculpture. Rondinone has had major solo exhibitions at Aargauer Kunsthaus in Aarau, Switzerland; Museo de Arte Contemporéneo de Castilla y León, Spain; Whitechapel Gallery in London; Le Consortium, Dijon; Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; PS1, Long Island City, New York; and Kunsthaus Glarus and Galerie für zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig. He participated at the Yokohama Triennale 2011, Japan. He represented Switzerland in the 52nd Venice Biennial (with Urs Fischer) and curated The Third Mind at Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Rondinone’s neon sculpture Hell,Yes! (2001) was installed on the New Museum’s Bowery building façade from its opening in 2007 through 2010. Ugo Rondinone was born in 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland to Italian parents and is based in New York.

Jannis Kounellis
Jannis Kounellis exhibits a new site-specific work at the Museum of Cycladic Art, at the Stathatos Mansion, the neoclassical wing of the Museum. Jannis Kounellis, whose contribution to the international art movement of Arte Povera has been defining, left Greece very young to leave behind the trauma of the civil war. He now returns to create a work amidst the economic and social crisis that Greece is currently going through. For his exhibition at the Museum of Cycladic Art, Kounellis uses materials found in the local Athenian markets and junkyards. These objects carry the history of the place, of a city that has been through endless changes of populations, ideologies, and levels of prosperity and in the last few years some very extreme changes. Kounellis uses newspapers, coal, burlap sacks, old shoes and glasses, overcoats, soil, and iron bars for his pieces, which are spread in the spaces of the neoclassical building. The works might reflect current problems but as always in Kounellis’s works, even though the objects have their own history, they are incorporated in his installations in such a way that in the end they become universal, ancient and modern.

Born in Piraeus, Greece in 1936, he lives and works in Rome. Kounellis has had major retrospectives and his work has been shown in important museums all over the world: The Stedelijk, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; the Obra Social, Caja de Pensiones, Madrid; the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; the Musée d’Art Contemporain, Bordeaux; MoCA, Chicago; Museo Nacional, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome; Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples; and Neue National Galerie, Berlin. Recent important solo exhibitions include Ambika P3, London, 2010, and Today Art Museum, Beijing in China, 2011. Kounellis holds an Artist Room at the Tate Modern.

For further information please contact: 
Alexia Vasilikou, Head of Press Office
T +30 210 7228321

*Image above:
Ugo Rondinone, nude (xxxxxxxxxxxxx), 2011. Wax, earth pigments, 74 x 109 x 64 cm.
Ed. 3/3 + 1 AP © the artist. Courtesy of Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich.
Photo © Stefan Altenburger Photography, Zürich.

Museum of Cycladic Art
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