Renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s colourful large-scale, public artwork Seven Magic Mountains is a two-year exhibition located in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring seven 30 to 35-foot high neon totems comprised of locally-sourced boulders.
Visible across the desert landscape along Interstate 15, Seven Magic Mountains offers a creative critique of the simulacra of destinations like Las Vegas. According to Rondinone, the location is physically and symbolically mid-way between the natural and the artificial: the natural is expressed by the mountain ranges, desert, and Jean Dry Lake backdrop, while the artificial is expressed by the highway and the constant flow of traffic between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Swiss born Ugo Rondinone now lives and works in New York and has long embraced a fluid range of forms and media. By allowing himself such formal adaptability, Rondinone can cater to an expansive emotional range. His work has become recognized for its ability to channel both psychological expressiveness and profound insight in the human condition and the relationship between human being and nature. Often referring to the natural world, romanticism and existentialism, his works encapsulate a “mental trinity” that has underpinned his art for more than twenty years.
“Seven Magic Mountains is an artwork of thresholds and crossings, of seclusion and gathering, of balanced marvels and excessive colours, and the contrary air between the desert and the city lights.
Each mountain is between 28 and 35 feet high… together they form a labyrinth of canyon-like passageways.
The project is a direct reaction to my previous public sculpture project Human Nature that I did in April 2013 in New York City. Both projects have stone as their prime material and both projects form a dual disposition of contrast and similarity of the natural and the artificial. Like my five previous public sculpture projects: the neon rainbows, clay masks, olive trees, scholar rocks and stone figures, the Seven Magic Mountains is imbedded in the observation of nature and its relation to the human condition." – Ugo Rondinone
Seven Magic Mountains is produced by the Art Production Fund, New York and Nevada Museum of Art, Reno.
Seven Magic Mountains; sevenmagicmountains.com