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Ugo Rondinone (Swiss, b.1964)

Sculptures

Birth Place: Brunnen, Switzerland

Biography:

Who is sculptor Ugo Rondinone?

Ugo Rondinone is a Swiss sculptor and artist who is best known for his large piece, Seven Magic Mountains (2016 - 2021) which features prominently along Interstate 15, just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Rondinone also makes surrealist, sometimes nightmarish large scale sculptures featuring humanoid faces. For many years, he operated a storefront studio in Manhattan -- but more recently moved to Long Island where he continues to work. Seven Magic Mountains has become Rondinone’s trademark piece, in part because of its significance on Instagram. Recently it was estimated that over 2 million people have taken photographs of the sculpture and posted them to the popular social media app.

Ugo Rondinone, then, represents an interesting bisection of the art community -- that of the avant-garde/commercial artist. While some of Rondinone’s best-known work is ubiquitous on Instagram, many of his other pieces are the purview of traditional high art galleries like the Museo de Art Contemporaneo in Spain, the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, and even the Sculpture Center of New York City. His work features prominently in the collection of the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

What kind of art does Ugo Rondinone make?

Ugo Rondinone is an avant-garde sculptor. Most of Rondinone’s pieces are designed to be temporary, large, land art sculptures. The most famous of these is Seven Magic Mountains, but several of his pieces have become iconic landmarks, including Liverpool Mountain (2018) and The Wise (2014). Rondinone’s early work focuses mostly on bright colored, concentric rings or impossibly gnarled trees rendered in stark black and white. At times, Rondinone has also dabbled in multi-media installation pieces. He has said that his work focuses on the “melancholy withdrawal from the world.”

How did sculptor Ugo Rondinone get started?

Ugo Rondinone was born in Switzerland in 1964. Rondinone is extremely private, so little is known of his early years. He obviously showed a proclivity in art, as Rondinone studied at the Hochschule fur Angewandte Kunst in Vienna during the late 1980s, eventually graduating in 1990. By the end of his time there, he was already the subject of several major solo exhibitions. During this time, the young artist moved to New York City and opened his famous store-front studio in Manhattan. His pieces rose to prominence in the early 1990s, noted for its blaring use of color contrasting with seemingly naturalistic sculpting aesthetic.

How much are Ugo Rondinone sculptures worth?

A Ugo Rondinone sculpture can be worth anywhere from $3,000 for a minor piece all the way up to over $1,000,000 for one of his major works. The most ever paid for a Ugo Rondinone sculpture at auction is $1,131,000 for the piece A Day Like This Made of Nothing and Nothing Else (2009) which sold on November 15th, 2018. It is by far the highest-selling sculpture of Rondinone’s body of work, outselling the next highest piece by nearly $500,000.

Where to buy Ugo Rondinone sculptures for sale?

See the works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on the artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Ugo Rondinone sculptures?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.


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