|Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art Present:
Seven Magic Mountains by Ugo Rondinone
On view for two years starting May 11
Las Vegas, Nevada
As featured in The New York Times
|Across the desert south of Las Vegas, Nevada, rises a large, colorful anomaly. Seven colossal stone forms defy gravity with their formations. The shapes, reminiscent of naturally-occurring hoodoos, seem poised between monumentality and collapse. The mammoth contemporary cairns created by internationally-renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone evoke the art of meditative rock balancing, and mark his place in the history of Land Art.
Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art present Seven Magic Mountains, a large-scale, site-specific public artwork by Rondinone that has been nearly five years in the making. The installation, comprised of seven individual towering sculptures, is situated on the far southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard along Interstate 15, approximately a half hour from downtown Las Vegas. Positioned within the Ivanpah Valley and surrounded by mountains, the piece will be on view for two years beginning May 11, 2016.
Meditating between geological formations and abstract compositions, Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains consist of locally-sourced limestone boulders stacked vertically in groups ranging between three and six. Each stone boasts a different fluorescent color; each individual totem stands between thirty and thirty-five feet high.
The artwork extends Rondinone’s long-running interest in natural phenomena and their reformulation in art. The titles are forms of his paintings and sculptures have frequently evoked primordial phenomena such as air, moons, the sun, and the cosmos. Referring concurrently to the natural world, romanticism, and existentialism, Seven Magic Mountains encapsulates a sort of mental trinity that has underpinned the artist’s work for more than two decades. In a new iteration of themes and materials, Seven Magic Mountains creates a sense of romantic minimalism.
“Seven Magic Mountains elicits continuities and solidarities between human and nature, artificial and natural, then and now,” states Rondinone.
Located a short distance from Nevada’s legendary Jean Dry Lake where Jean Tinquely and Michael Heizer created significant sculptures, Seven Magic Mountains is one of the largest land-based art installations in the United States completed in over 40 years. The work pays homage to the history of Land Art while also offering a contemporary critique of the simulacra in nearby Las Vegas.
“Seven Magic Mountains is an internationally significant sculpture installation that helps open the door in Nevada to future large-scale, land-based art projects,” said David B. Walker, Nevada Museum of Art executive director and CEO. Added Art Production Fund co-founders Doreen Remen and Yvonne Force Villareal, “Its location on the active Interstate 15 is especially exciting. Approximately 16 million vehicles will pass the work over its two year installation, making it one of the most visible works in the history of Land Art.”
Seven Magic Mountains is produced by Art Production Fund, New York and Nevada Museum of Art, Reno. Located approximately 10 miles south of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, Nevada, the two-year installation will be on view beginning May 11, 2016. More at sevenmagicmountains.com.
Seven Magic Mountains Presenting Sponsor: ARIA Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada. Lead Sponsor: McDonald Carano LLP. Major Sponsors: Banana Republic; Diana Bennett; Nevada Commission on Tourism; Alvaro and Linda Pascotto; VIA Art Fund. Sponsors: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority; Nevada Department of Transportation; Katie O’Neill and Chris Gonya; Pro Helvetia. Friends of Seven Magic Mountains: Shane Akeroyd; Charles and Margaret Burback Foundation; Denise Cashman; Nathalie De Gunzburg; Mike De Paola; Di Donna Galleries, New York; Fairfax Dorn and Marc Glimcher; Vincent & Shelly Fremont; Robin Greenspun; Jane Holzer; Dayssi & Paul Kanavos; Robert Lococo; Maurice Marciano; Jennifer McSweeney; Nicole Ruvo; Tarissa Tiberti; Michele Quinn; Marlies Verhoeven; Leopoldo Villareal. Additional Support: John Klai; Las Vegas Paving Corporation. Special Thanks to Gladstone Gallery.
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 and thematic freedom, 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 and the relationship between human beings 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 twenty years. Recent solo shows include Carre d’Art, Nimes, Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2016); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Secession, Vienna (2015), Rockbound Art Museum, Shanghai, Museo Anahuacalli, Mexico (2014); Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, M Museum, Leuven (2013)
Art Production Fund (APF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to commissioning and producing ambitious public art projects, reaching new audiences and expanding awareness through contemporary art. Recent projects include: After Hours: Murals on The Bowery, NYC 2011; David Brooks, Desert Rooftops, NYC, 2011; Josephine Meckseper, Manhattan Oil Project, NYC, 2012; Kiki Smith, Chorus, NYC, 2012; Yoko Ono, Imagine Peace Times Square, NYC 2012; Yvette Mattern, Global Rainbow After The Storm, NYC, 2012; Ryan McGinley, Taxi TV, NYC, 2013; Tony Smith, One-Two-Three, NYC, 2013; Tracey Ernin, Roman Standard, NYC 2013; Pop Up 1: Montauk, NY, 2013; ThreeASFOUR, MER KA BA, NYC, 2013; Marco Brambilla, Anthropocene, NYC, 2013; Vanessa Beecroft, VB73, NYC, 2014; Deborah Kass, The Street, MA, 2014; Jessica Craig-Martin, Hyde Park Village, FL, 2014; FriendsWithYou, Light Cave, NYC, 2014; Hanna Liden, Everything, NYC, 2015; Gerard & Kelly, Modern Living, Los Angeles, 2016; Co-Founders: Yvonne Force Villareal & Doreen Remen; Executive Director: Casey Fremont. www.artproductionfund.org
Nevada Museum of Art is the only AAM accredited art museum in Nevada. A private, non-profit organization founded in 1931, the Reno-based institution is supported by its membership as well as sponsorships, gifts and grants. Through its permanent collections, original exhibitions and programming, and Museum School, the Nevada Museum of Art provides the opportunity for people to engage with a range of art and education experiences. Its Center for Art + Environment, is an internationally-recognized research center dedicated to supporting the practice, study, and awareness of creative interactions between people and their environments. The Center houses unique archive materials from more than 1,000 artists working on all seven continents, including Cape Farewell, Michael Heizer, Walter de Maria, Lita Albuquerque, Burning Man, Center for Land Use Interpretation, and Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains project. More at nevadaart.org
Image: Ugo Rondinone, Seven Magic Mountains, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2016. Courtesy of Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art. Photo Courtesy John Salangsang/BFA.