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Review: Ugo Rondinone’s Buoyant “Sunny Days” at Guild Hall East Hampton

Ugo Rondinone’s “Sunny Days” at Guild Hall, East Hampton

August 10-October 14. 2019

by

Leticia Marie Sanchez

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Guild Hall Gala

Photo Left: Cultural Cocktail Hour Editor-In-Chief Leticia Marie Sanchez at the Guild Hall Summer GalaSunny Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guild Hall entrance

Photo Above: Tree-lined Main Street

in East Hampton

site of the Guild Hall Summer Gala

On summer nights in August, the Hamptons social season is in full swing, and the vibrant Summer Gala on August 9th at Guild Hall was no exception. The festivities marked the opening night of Ugo Rondinone’s “Sunny Days,” an exhibit which proved a balm for the soul.

Rondinone is a Swiss born, New York-based contemporary mixed-media artist who works with sculpture, painting, video, sound, and photography. ”Sunny Days” is comprised of three parts: paintings, sculptures, and a poignant, heartwarming gallery showcasing art made by children. The narrative thread linking all three components is the buoyant symbol of the sun.

 

Guild Gala 2

Firstly, Guild Hall’s Woodhouse Gallery contains a series of sun paintings. In these works artist Ugo Rondinone cleverly conveyed the dizzying effect of attempting to view the solar form with the naked eye. Rondinone spray painted canvases with soft concentric yellow rings. Inside the Woodhouse Gallery, I spoke with Guild Hall Executive Director Andrea Grover about the effective, disorienting nature of looking upon Rondinone’s creative work which mimics the act of gazing upon the sun itself.  Grover observed that these paintings by Rondinone are “Mesmerizing. The paintings convey the impossibility of looking directly into the sun.”

 

Guild Gala

Secondly, in Guild Hall’s Moran Gallery, one can view a series of sun sculptures created by Rondonine who cast vine branches in aluminum and then gilded them. The slim golden orbs symbolize the life cycle.  This metaphor in the gallery is two-fold: vines bear fruit each year on a rhythmic cycle which evokes the overarching theme of the exhibit: the sun which makes its own cyclical trek through the universe.

 

 

The third component of “Sunny Days” proved emotionally uplifting. I cannot recall an exhibit of late in which an artist generously shared his space with school children, which is precisely what Rondonine did here. He invited children to fashion their own representations of the sun in an exhibit entitled “Your Age and my Age and the Age of the Sun.” On the bright, colorful wall one can view Smiling Suns, Setting Suns, Rising Suns, Red Suns, Seaside Suns, Suns Wearing Shades, a seemingly infinite panorama of buoyant suns. These works on watercolor and paper were made by children from Leuven, Oaxaca, and Long Island. I found myself magnetically drawn back to this room again and again, revisiting it many times during the course of the evening, for an infusion of spirit healing warmth. The exhibit at Guild Hall bestows us with Sunny Days for the mind, heart, and soul.

 

Guild Gala WallGala Wall

 

 

 

gala gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by on August 22nd, 2019

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