The Rockefeller Center plaza between 49th and 50th Streets in winter is a place where Christmas tree stands, in summer there is a Farmer Market . Spring is the exhibition time. For seven weeks from April 23 through June 7, 2013 nine huge 16-to 20-foot human-shaped stone figures will inhabit the plaza. Each statue weighs more than 17 tons.
“It’s really amazing,” Bloomberg marveled. “It’s just rock, except it’s not just rock." Bloomberg predicted the exhibit will be thought-provoking to both New Yorkers and tourists. “People are going to say, ‘Look at the one, I like that, I don’t like that, what does this one mean?’" he said. “That’s exactly what art should do — it should get you thinking and exercising your brain. ”
Swiss born, New York-based artist Ugo Rondinone made the sculptures of bluestone and left the surfaces rough. The artist made 50 miniature statues and named them (“Joy”, “Glad” ,“Uplifting”...) before deciding which to choose for the full-scale version. Bluestone is a commercial name for Field Spathic sandstone, which is produced in hundreds of small quarries in Pennsylvania. Interesting to know that Bluestone is also the name for the dolerite of the famous Stonehenge in Britain.
For more than 20 years, Ugo Rondinone has produced remarkably diverse body of work including mandala paintings, figurative sculptures, large-scale landscape drawings, and immersive multi-channel video installations.
A new exhibition of Ugo Rondinone “Soul” will be open from May 7 till July 3 in Gladstone Gallery located on West 21 in Manhattan. This year the artist will have exhibitions at Museum Leuven, Brussels, Belgium, and at the Art Institute of Chicago.