Ugo Rondinone: 7 Magic Mountains 2016 – present
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Across the desert south of Las Vegas, Nevada, rises a large, colorful anomaly. Seven colossal stone forms defy gravity with their teetering 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.
Seven Magic Mountains is 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.
Mediating between geological formations and abstract compositions, Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains consists 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 and 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 Tinguely 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 produced by Art Production Fund, New York and Nevada Museum of Art, Reno. It is located approximately 10 miles south of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, Nevada.
The exhibition opened May 11, 2016 and was originally scheduled to be on view for two years. Due to the incredible success of Seven Magic Mountains since its opening, artist Ugo Rondinone has expressed a strong desire to explore ways to keep the artwork on view at its current site. The Producers are currently working on an extension plan that would enable Seven Magic Mountains to remain on view for several years into the future. While the plan progresses, we can state with certainty that, at a minimum, the installation will remain on view through the end of 2018.
Visit the Seven Magic Mountains website and download the press release for more info.
© Nevada Museum of Art 2016 – 2021