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Ugo Rondinone "your age and my age and the age of the rainbow" on view at Belvedere Museum
Installation of the exhibition "Ugo Rondinone. your age and my age and the age of the rainbow" Photo: Johannes Stoll, Belvedere, Vienna / courtesy of studio rondinone.

VIENNA.- 1,600 children, twelve schools, one motif: the rainbow. At the initiative of New York based Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, elementary-school-aged children from across Austria painted their version of the natural spectacle. The Belvedere is thus hosting a nationwide art project that has become the world's largest rainbow painting: the seventy-meter-long installation your age and my age and the age of the rainbow. It will be on view until 1 November 2021 in the baroque garden between the Belvedere and the Belvedere 21.

"Ugo Rondinone's project ‘your age and my age and the age of the rainbow’ comes to us at the moment we wish to fulfill our desire for togetherness and the lightness of being."– CEO Stella Rollig

"A spectacle of color that should bring joy to everyone who sees it . . .a bridge between everyone and everything" is how Ugo Rondinone describes the project himself. The rainbow – not only as an impressive spectacle of nature but also and above all as a symbol of peace, equality, tolerance, and the connection between heaven and earth – is a recurring motif in his work. Now the natural phenomenon is the focus of Rondinone's collaboration with students from across Austria.

Internationally renowned artist Ugo Rondinone was born in Brunnen, Switzerland, in 1964. He studied at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna under Ernst Caramelle from 1986 to 1990. In 1998 he moved to New York, where he currently lives and works, and in 2007, he represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale. His works are included in museum collections all over the world. For over twenty years, Rondinone has crossed boundaries between media and disciplines. His works are often based on themes and motifs related to everyday life, which he imbues with a poetic dimension. Rondinone creates evocative moods that capture the spirit of contemporary life.

The Project

The preliminary work for the installation your age and my age and the age of the rainbow is the largest participatory action the Belvedere has realized to date and is unique in its dimension. It was organized by the Belvedere art education team.

Project manager Michaela H explains: "We knew from the very beginning that the implementation of this project would be more complex than anything we had done before. What we had not anticipated, however, was the Covid-19 pandemic, which greatly affected our collaboration with the students. In spite of that – or perhaps precisely for that reason – the collaboration with the students turned out to be truly inspiring. The resulting images are a striking illustration of the enormous range of creativity."

In the spring, all elementary schools in Vienna and throughout the provincial capitals were invited to take part in the project, for which the team developed a contemporary approach to collaboration. Due to the coronavirus, the workshops that had initially been planned for the schools were replaced by a poster that each participating child received. It included information about the artist and the Belvedere and plenty of material on the rainbow theme. Schools from Bregenz, Graz, Linz, Salzburg, and Vienna took part in the project. In spring 2021, around 1,600 children responded to Rondinone's call and the Belvedere's invitation and sent in their individual interpretation of this phenomenon of nature for the installation.

The panels will be turned over to “studio rondinone” at the end of the exhibition, thereby becoming part of the artist's collection of rainbow works by children from around the world.

The participatory project your age and my age and the age of the rainbow precedes Ugo Rondinone's first solo museum exhibition in Austria: beginning 25 November 2021, the Belvedere 21 will be showing Ugo Rondinone. nude in the landscape. The exhibition and project your age and my age and the age of the rainbow are curated by Axel Khne.

The Exhibition

Nude in the Landscape at the Belvedere 21 from 25 November 2021 to 20 February 2022 is Ugo Rondinone's first major solo exhibition in Austria. The Swiss-American artist brings together groups of works from the classical genres of nude and landscape. Alongside the group landscapes specially designed for Vienna – sculptures formed from soil that reference, among other things, Minimal Art – the exhibition also presents hyperrealistically designed nudes, seemingly introverted naked figures made of clear wax and soil.

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