Situated on the far southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard along Interstate 15, approximately a half hour from downtown, in the desert south ofthe city hin the Ivanpah Valley and surrounded by mountains, rises a large, colorful anomaly.
Seven colossal stone forms defy gravity with their teetering formations. The shapes, reminiscent of naturally-occurring hoodoos, seem poised between monumentality and collapse. The mammoth contemporary cairns created by internationally-renowned Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone evoke the art of meditative rock balancing, and mark his place in the history of Land Art.
Seven Magic Mountains is a large-scale, site-specific public artwork by Rondinone that has been nearly five years in the making.
Mediating between geological formations and abstract compositions, Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains consists of locally-sourced limestone boulders stacked vertically in groups ranging between three and six. Each stone boasts a different fluorescent color; each individual totem stands between thirty and thirty-five feet high.
The artwork extends Rondinone’s long-running interest in natural phenomena and their reformulation in art. The titles and forms of his paintings and sculptures have frequently evoked primordial phenomena such as air, moons, the sun, and the cosmos. Referring concurrently to the natural world, romanticism, and existentialism, Seven Magic Mountains encapsulates a sort of mental trinity that has underpinned the artist’s work for more than two decades. In a new iteration of themes and materials, Seven Magic Mountains creates a sense of romantic minimalism.