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CityPASS Home  »  City Traveler Blog  »  Human Nature on View at Rock Center

City Traveler Blog

Human Nature on View at Rock Center

If you’ve been lucky enough to visit Rockefeller Center lately, you may have noticed something new that’s just about impossible not to notice – nine collosal human-shaped stone figures by the Swiss-born, New York-based artist Ugo Rondinone. The 16-to-20-foot tall figures, weighing up to 30,000 pounds each, are on view as part of Rondinone's public art exhibit Human Nature, which opened April 23 at Rockefeller Center and will be there through June 7.

Human Nature is a stark contrast to its highly developed architectural surroundings in Midtown Manhattan. The irregular surfaces of the stone are left bare, while the human figure is represented as a simple but imposting composition, defined by its towering legs, massive torso and boulder-like head.

To create these nine unique figures, the artist quarried massive bluestone slabs, leaving their surfaces as they were found: heavy and course, scored by quartz veins, and marked by wind, weather and erosion. The stones were then rough-cut into blocks and stacked on top of each other to resemble the most recognizable features of the human form.

These mythical yet commanding figures currently reside in the plaza where the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is displayed each December; visitors are free to walk beneath and among the post-and-lintel structures formed by their massive legs and shoulders.

You can read more about the exhibit here.

Ugo Rondinone: Human Nature is presented by Nespresso and organized by Public Art Fund and Tishman Speyer. Additional support is provided by Pro Helvetia.

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