November 30, 2016 - The Bass - Ugo Rondinone: Miami Mountain
November 30, 2016

The Bass

Ugo Rondinone, Miami Mountain, 2016. Granite, paint, steel. Collection of The Bass, purchased with The John and Johanna Bass Acquisition Fund. Photo: Zachary Balber. Courtesy of The Bass, Miami Beach.

Ugo Rondinone
Miami Mountain

Collins Park
Collins Ave
Miami Beach, FL 33139
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Join The Bass, Miami Beach's contemporary art museum, this evening at 6pm for the official unveiling celebration of Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountain, in Collins Park, on the corner of Collins Avenue & 21st Street, just in front of the museum. A reception will follow in the Miami Beach Regional Library courtyard at 227 22nd Street, Miami Beach, FL 33139. 

Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountain mediates between geological formations and abstract compositions. With materials originating from the Western United States, the work finds its geological inspiration in the “hoodoo” rock formations of the American West. Hoodoos are naturally occurring stacks of rock, which form as the silt and sediment at the edge of plateaus washed away over time, leaving only the densest earth behind.

Beyond natural forces, the human tradition of stacking stones atop one another has existed across cultures for thousands of years. A common thread amongst ancient and modern cairn (stone pile) builders alike is the designation of time and place. Situated at the southeastern corner of Collins Park in Miami Beach, Miami Mountain is a singular column of five stacked boulders measuring 42 feet tall and follows in this tradition as a lone demarcation of a moment in time, frozen forever.

The sublime forces of time and nature are a recurring motif within Rondinone’s practice. His work often evokes the tensions between the immediate present and the inconceivable future. The titles and forms of his paintings and sculptures have frequently evoked primordial phenomena such air, moons, the sun and the cosmos. His interest in what he calls “primitive materials” such as the boulders used in Miami Mountain, stems from contemplation, stillness and inaction. The materials comprising Miami Mountain are at their core ancient. However, their fluorescent-colored exterior accentuates the tension of their structure and the precarity of the work’s position in a liminal space between natural and artificial—a public green-space and a busy street. Miami Mountain is the latest in the artist’s mountain series, which was first monumentalized in May 2016, with Seven Magic Mountains, a site-specific installation situated in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.

In September 2016, The Bass launched a ten-year initiative to add international contemporary art to its permanent collection with the inaugural acquisition by Ugo Rondinone, making Miami Mountain the most significant acquisition in the history of the museum. Also acquired was Swiss artist Sylvie Fleury’s Eternity Now. The museum will continue to annually acquire a major work of contemporary art that will be presented each fall.

About Ugo Rondinone
Ugo Rondinone, born 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland, lives and works in New York and has long embraced a fluid range of forms and media. By allowing himself such formal independence, Rondinone creates the conditions for an expansive emotional range. His work has become recognized for its ability to channel both psychological expressiveness and profound insight in the human condition, as well as the relationship between human being and nature. Referring concurrently to the natural world, romanticism and existentialism, his works encapsulate a mental trinity that has underpinned his art for more than 20 years.

About The Bass
The Bass is Miami Beach’s contemporary art museum. Recognized for organizing the first solo museum exhibitions in the United States of international artists such as Erwin Wurm, The Bass also presents major exhibitions by influential artists, such as El Anatsui, Isaac Julien, Eve Sussman and Piotr Uklański. The exhibition program encompasses a wide range of media and artistic points of view that bring new thought to the diverse cultural context of Miami Beach. Currently undergoing renovations to increase programmable space by nearly 50 percent, The Bass re-opens to the public in spring 2017. 

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