This weekend, Guild Hall in East Hampton opens a new exhibition featuring works by the renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. “Sunny Days” features sun-themed sculpture and paintings, as well as a collaboration with area school children. The exhibition, which explores the sun as a motif and metaphor, is divided into three parts: paintings, sculptures, and a community art project.
In a new series of eight “sun paintings,” Rondinone references the radiance and universal symbolism of the sun. He has incorporated this imagery in his work since 1991, and uses canvas spray-painted with soft concentric yellow rings as a representation of the sun and the impossibility of seeing it’s form with the naked eye.
A selection of large sun sculptures will be placed at alternating angles in Guild Hall’s Moran Gallery. These large-scale circular rings are made from vine branches which were cast in aluminum and then gilded. The artist chose to depict the vine as a symbol of renewal because of its life cycle from growth to dormancy and rebirth to a fruitful state every year — reminiscent of the solar cycle.
Following similar projects that Rondinone has carried out in Rotterdam, Shanghai, Rome, Berkeley, Cincinnati and Moscow, the artist has invited children from the East End to help him create a gallery of sun drawings. Students from local schools, daycare centers and afterschool programs will participate and create depictions of the sun to be displayed salon style in the Spiga Gallery.
Rondinone has a home on the North Fork and has been the subject of recent solo exhibitions at major institutions around the world. In 2017, Rondinone curated a city-wide exhibition, “Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno,” which honored the artist’s life partner in 13 venues throughout Manhattan.
Curated by Christina Strassfield, “Sunny Days” opens with a private member reception on Saturday, August 10 from 5 to 7 p.m. and remains on view through October 14. Guild Hall is at 158 Main Street, East Hampton. Visit guildhall.org for details.