Ugo Rondinone, nuns + monks at Gladstone Gallery

nuns and monks red photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

Do you like monumental sculpture? I sure do. If that also happens to be your thing, and you’ve been looking for an excuse to head back over to the Chelsea Gallery District, you will want to know that Gladstone Gallery is currently hosting an exhibition of new sculptures by Ugo Rondinone from the artist’s latest body of work, nuns + monks — and these things are massive.

ugo rondinone nuns and monks photo by gail worley

In 2020, when three simultaneous exhibitions from this sculpture series opened in Berlin, Zurich, and Rome, Rondinone made the following comments in an interview with Mitchell Anderson for Italian cotemporary art magazine, Mousse.

“The concentrated symbolic energy of the new body of work goes hand in hand with its synchronous presentation. Once I lift up a new sculpture in three different places at the same time, the sculpture has a greater chance to enter people’s souls. The work is open but sharp and suffused with a combination of humor and pathos.

nuns and monks green photo by gail worley

“At the same time, it represents an investigation of the mutable potential of sculpture as both a physical medium and a site of rich cultural disclosure in contemporary art.

nuns and monks red photo by gail worley

“As the exhibition’s title suggests, the sculptures in nuns + monks address varied iconographies associated with these most resonant of forms. Nuns and monks occupy the literal and figurative centers of human life, but they also appear in a wide range of social and narrative contexts. I wanted to reveal the multivalent potential of nuns and monks as vessel and beacon, human body and mystical source.

nuns and monks yellow photo by gail worley

“In so doing, the work reveals a broad array of interests, notable for both historical depth and up-to-the-minute urgency. Through human history religious imagery has had immense transformational power; a familiar symbol can transform another symbol, like a stone, into something richly metaphorical.

3 nuns and monks phot by gail worley

Ugo Rondinone’s nuns + monks will be on Exhibit Through June 18th, 2021 at Gladstone Gallery, Located at 530 West 21st Street in the Chelsea Gallery District, NYC.

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