we run through a desert on burning FEET, all of us are glowing our faces look twisted, 2009
grout, grit, stones, light-weight concrete
380 x 187 x 133 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 43495)
© Ugo Rondinone
This sculpture is a larger-than-life rendition of a “scholar’s rock,” referring to the ancient Chinese literati tradition of appreciation for eroded stones that naturally take the form of a landscape or living being. Rondinone has made nine scholar’s rocks to date, each uniquely shaped after originals from China’s Lake Tai region. All take the same title from a poem written by the artist, but with one distinguishing capitalized word – in this case, FEET. Rondinone has long been interested in how time and a yearning for the sublime can be conjured in art today. This work presents this age-old challenge through an absorbing representation of an act of nature whose mystery has been revered and appreciated for millennia.
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