New Museum’s New Look: “Hell, Yes” vs: “Rose II”


A few weeks back we heard that Ugo Rondinone’s Hell, Yes rainbow sculpture, which has adorned the facade of the New Museum since the building opened in 2007, was going to be replaced by Isa Genzken’s Rose II. Rondinone’s piece, which was originally loaned to the NuMu for a two-year exhibition, has become emblematic for most of us — like an unofficial, wacky logo for the organization. In fact, it was purchased for the museum by trustees in June 2009. Note: In case you were worried, the museum has promised that it will reinstall Hell, Yes in another location soon. Maybe a nice farm upstate, where there are other unwanted sculptures he can play with.

So what do we know about this new work? It stands 28 feet tall. It is the Berlin-based artist’s first public artwork here in the US. The first Rose was created in 1993 and reprised in 2007. The piece sold for €750,000 to a private collector at Art Basel in 2008. It’s on view through 2011. And while it has absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand, Genzken is Gerhard Richter’ ex-wife.

What do you think? Do you like the really tall flower, or did you prefer the crazy-yet-familiar rainbow?