Fighting his way through the urban jungle of Soho, the intrepid explorer climbs up and discovers a brightly-lit clearing full of colourful rock totems on grey plinths. Are these a relic from a previous civilisation or are they natural rocks which have been moulded by the wind and by weathering? But wait! – the rocks may be ancient, but the colours match those of a modern Rubix cube, so someone has been here recently. Around the clearing large cloud formations are opening up to reveal perfect clear blue skies beyond and, at the far end of the clearing, through a small opening in the walls, the explorer enters a hidden cavern in which three shimmering waterfalls send slender streams of water cascading down to the bottom.
The Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s new exhibition clouds + mountains + waterfalls continues his exploration of natural phenomena and the reinterpretation in art at Sadie Coles HQ. The cut-out shapes of the clouds (with strange titles in German) frame skies from which the viewer can gaze into the infinite space beyond the confines of the gallery and in front of which are Rondinone’s mountain sculptures, rocks of different sizes and shapes stacked vertically in columns of differing heights, reminiscent of natural rock formations or meditative rock balancing, many defying gravity, and here painted like totems, with some of the shapes suggesting human attributes.
The waterfalls are freestanding aluminium casts of water crashing down into spiralling forms in pools at the bottom.
Ugo Rondinone provides us with three different series of his work, here united in the gallery spaces into one narrative around his artistic transformation and interpretation of these natural forms.