Gladstone Gallery is pleased to present Ugo Rondinone’s thanx 4 nothing, a mutli-channel video installation that pays tribute to the artist’s late husband, John Giorno. Rondinone reconstructs the gallery into a black box theater, creating an immersive environment through the use of black-and-white film, minimalist score, and the rhythmic intonations of Giorno’s own voice. This exhibition is a prismatic paean to the poet, raconteur, muse, cultural icon, and New York fixture.
Curator Ralph Rugoff said of the work on the occasion of its installation at Hayward Gallery in 2016:
In elegantly spectacular fashion, Ugo Rondinone’s 20-screen video installation, thanx 4 nothing (2015), presents the American poet John Giorno reciting – though ‘performing’ might be a better word – the titular poem. Written on his seventieth birthday in 2006, and framed as an extended and wide-ranging expression of gratitude to ‘everyone for everything,’ Giorno’s poetic monologue looks back over his life with frank insight and humour, reflecting on loves and losses, friends and enemies, sex and drugs, depression and spiritual acceptance. As presented by Rondinone, whose work inventively interlaces the rhythms of his images with those of the poet’s speech, it is also a dizzying meditation on duality.
Ugo Rondinone was born in 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland and lives and works in New York. Since 2013 Rondinone has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including: Kunsthalle Helsinki; Tate Liverpool; ARKEN Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen; Bass Museum of Art, Miami; Château de Versailles; Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Place Vendôme, Paris; MACRO and Mercati di Traiano, Rome; Carré D’Art, Nimes; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Palais De Tokyo, Paris; Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney; Secession, Vienna; Anahuacalli Museum, Mexico City; Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai; Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens; Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien; Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium; M – Museum Leuven, Belgium; Public Art Fund, Rockefeller Center; New York and Art Institute of Chicago. In 2016, Rondinone’s large-scale public work “seven magic mountains” opened outside Las Vegas, co-produced by the Art Production Fund and Nevada Museum of Art. In 2017, Rondinone curated a city-wide exhibition, “Ugo Rondinone: I ♥ John Giorno,” which honored the artist’s life partner in thirteen non-profit art institutions throughout Manhattan.