Finding myself in an empty studio for the last three months, I resorted to an intimate work: drawing poems and brushing sunsets and moonrise paintings. This is a good time for me to work in silence—cocooning myself into my own time, these two pastimes I love most and tire of least.
The Mattituck paintings show the view from my studio window across the Long Island Sound. My first summer in Mattituck was a revelation, forcing me to examine my surroundings with the freshness of a friendly alien. Every day, just when the twilight started, John [Giorno] and I would set our chairs in position and experience a new sunset, a magical illumination of the ordinary—lucid and lyrical. Looking at the sunset makes one feel that the physical and the spiritual are not separate. Like a diarist, I record the living universe: this season, this day, this hour, this sound in the grass, this crashing wave, this sunset, this end of the day, this silence.
In the middle of the AIDS crisis in 1989, I turned away from grief and found in nature a spiritual road map for solace, regeneration, and inspiration. In nature, you enter a space where the sacred and profane, the mystical and the mundane, vibrate against one another.
There is not much to say about this new group of paintings. They exist to be looked at—to let go of words and look at what is in front of our eyes. An artist is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with the visual. — Ugo Rondinone, May 2020
Viewing room through June 26.
Ugo Rondinone, Mattituck, Gladstone Gallery, May 29, 2020–June 20, 2020, watercolors on canvas in artist’s frame, from top: aprilfifthtwothousandandtwenty, 2020; decembereleventhtwothousandandnineteen, 2019; novemberthirdtwothousandandnineteen, 2019; octobereighthtwothousandandnineteen, 2019; septembertwentythirdtwothousandandnineteen, 2019; junetwentyfirsttwothousandandnineteen, 2019. Images and text courtesy and © the artist and Gladstone Gallery.