The artist’s first project in Russia will consist of two interconnected pieces: an installation in front of the Museum, and an object on its rooftop. In Garage Square, visitors will find a one-hundred-meter-long fence supporting thousands of images of rainbows painted on wood panels by kids with various disabilities from all over the country. Garage Rooftop will also be host to a ten-meter long rainbow that spells out OUR MAGIC HOUR. This message celebrates the inauguration of the first Triennial of Russian Contemporary Art, which is taking place simultaneously inside the Museum. Having emerged in Rondinone's work in 1997, first as a sculpture for a public space, the rainbow has since become one of his most recognizable images, a convergence of visual and poetic energies—according to the artist, each rainbow represents a complete work of poetry.
When Rondinone made site visits to Moscow, he determined that public engagement would be one of the key aspects of the new work, as well as wanting to produce something that was responsive to the context of Garage. Acknowledging the Museum’s interest in developing country wide networks, he asked that his project should be far-reaching. Assisted by Garage’s Inclusive Program department, the artist engaged 1,500 children, including deaf and hard of hearing kids, as well as children in wheelchairs and with developmental disabilities, in nine cities across Russia: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ivanovo, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Perm, Yekaterinburg, Krasnoyarsk, and Novosibirsk. Fifteen hundred panels of different sizes, from 40 x 30 cm to 125 x 80 cm, will be displayed on the front and back of the fence. Rondinone has realized a number of communal works, but this is his largest and longest rainbow fence to date. Unlike the previous ones, it is the first to be exhibited outside a museum, accessible to park visitors.
Each participant was invited to create a drawing for the installation on the Square with the promise that there would be no curatorial intervention and every rainbow produced would be presented. In a time of divisions and restrictions all over the world, Rondinone’s ethical standpoint, and his openness and generosity, restores a belief in the magic of the moment and the human essence of contemporary art.
Ugo Rondinone has produced a number of public commissions including every time the sun comes up (FIAC, Place Vendome, Paris, 2016), seven magic mountains (Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, 2016). Recent exhibitions have taken place at M-Museum (Leuven, Belgium, 2013), The Art Institute of Chicago (2013), Museo Anahuacalli (Mexico, 2014), Rockbund Art Museum (Shanghai, China, 2014), The Vienna Secession (2014), Palais de Tokyo (Paris, 2015), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, 2016) and MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome, 2016) among other spaces. He represented Switzerland at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007.