For seven weeks, New York’s Rockerfeller Center will be dominated by nine 20 foot high, human-shaped stone figures by Swiss-born, New York-based artist, Ugo Rondinone. The work, Human Nature, is free for the public to view from April 23rd to June 7th on the Plaza between 49th and 50th Street, and is striking in contrast to the high deco architectural buildings surrounding it.
As I viewed the colossal figures at the opening reception hosted by the exhibit’s premier sponsor, Nespresso, I couldn’t help but wander amongst their towering legs, and pose in front of these fascinating figures. It was a cold evening, and between sipping coffee and champagne laced with raspberry and chocolate, the weather seemed to give the right raw setting to these towering stone masterpieces.
“The stone figure is the most archetypal representation of the human form; an elemental symbol of the human spirit, connected to the earth yet mythic in the imagination. The image of the figure belongs to nobody, is timeless, and universal,” said Rondinone of his work.
Frederic Levy, President of Nespresso USA, explained further that, “as a brand rooted in innovation and design, we are constantly seeking inspiration through art and culture from all over the world. Ugo Rondinone’s Human Nature so beautifully celebrates artistic expression and shares in our passion to inspire and be inspired.”
“Rockefeller Center is New York City’s greatest public venue, a place where timeless architecture and art come together. The work of a brilliantly inventive artist, Ugo Rondinone, will add perfectly to the Center’s artistic identity — particularly as Human Nature was originally inspired by the very plaza where it will now stand,” noted Tishman Speyer, co-sponsor of the exhibit with the Public Art Fund.
The wonderful Ugo Rondinone stone forms are a wonder and outstanding work of art. They are more inviting than intimidating, and it would seem that New York is enjoying having these massive stone forms in its midst.