frail foggy fairytale


Ugo Rondinone ( Swiss, 1964 )

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General Description

This exaggerated, monolithic door is oppressively real and heavy, but also feels imagined, as if pulled from a child’s fantasy. With thick wood, sealed windows, and perma­nently closed locks, it cartoonishly exemplifies everything one would expect to find in a medieval castle. Ugo Rondinone’s sculpture manages to confuse the viewer’s sense of reality—especially when shown alongside his equally cartoonish sculptures of walls and windows—as they confront something distantly familiar but at the same time obviously fake. Despite its total lack of functionality— leading to nowhere, keeping nothing out, unable to be opened—the door is menacing in its impenetrability.

Excerpt from

  • Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 220.

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