Seven Magic Mountains: Art in the desert
Renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone’s colorful large-scale, public artwork Seven Magic Mountains is a two-year exhibition located in the desert outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring seven thirty to thirty-five-foot high dayglow totems comprised of painted, locally-sourced boulders.
Visible across the desert landscape along Interstate 15, Seven Magic Mountains offers a creative critique of the simulacra of destinations like Las Vegas. According to Rondinone, the location is physically and symbolically mid-way between the natural and the artificial: the natural is expressed by the mountain ranges, desert, and Jean Dry Lake backdrop, and the artificial is expressed by the highway and the constant flow of traffic between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
Seven Magic Mountains is produced by the Art Production Fund, New York and Nevada Museum of Art, Reno. Approximately 10 miles south of the intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, the installation site is a short distance from Jean Dry Lake where Michael Heizer and Jean Tinquely created legendary land art works in the 1960s. Many of the project’s public programs will take place at ARIA Resort & Casino, and partner locations in Nevada, including the Marjorie Barrick Museum on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
born 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland, lives and works in New York and has long embraced a fluid range of forms and media. By allowing himself such formal, Rondinone creates the conditions for an expansive emotional range. His work has become recognized for its ability to channel both psychological expressiveness and profound insight in the human condition and the relationship between human being and nature. Referring concurrently to the natural world, romanticism and existentialism, his works encapsulate a “mental trinity” that has underpinned his art for more than twenty years.
Recent solo shows include Carre d’Art, Nimes, Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2016); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Secession, Vienna (2015), Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai, Museo Anahuacalli, Mexico (2014); Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, M Museum, Leuven (2013)
5 Interesting Facts About Seven Magic Mountains
- “Seven Magic Mountains” cost $3.5 million to make.
- One major sponsor is MGM Grand Resorts with the help of CEO, Jim Murren.
- The Seven Magic Mountains are one of the largest land-based art installations made in 40-years.
- There are seven stacks of 33 boulders, standing between 30 and 35 feet.
- The installation was supposed to be available for view until 2018, but after some painting works, it will be open to the public again on June 20th.