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Ugo Rondinone: The World Just Makes Me Laugh

This catalogue documents the iteration of Ugo Rondinone’s vocabulary of solitude at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in the summer of 2017. In Berkeley, Rondinone complemented the installation of the forty-five clowns with some of his exuberant rainbow paintings, pairs of oversize clown shoes, and 1998, a dark, sixty-two-part cycle of ink-on-paper works evoking the pain of desire and attachment. The phrase “the world just makes me laugh” is from the poem “Welcoming the Flowers” (2004) by Rondinone’s husband, John Giorno. The tension that runs deep in Rondinone’s works, as much chromatically—between the darkness of 1998 and the rainbows airbrushed into colossal paintings—as psychologically—embodied in the pensive clowns—invites contemplation of the fact that laughter is never too far from crying. This is the fourth of a five-chapter publication series by Ugo Rondinone.

Texts by Lawrence Rinder, Dodie Bellamy, and Kevin Killian

 

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