Seven sculptures of the Seven Magic Mountains on an isolated land. Seven sculptures of the Seven Magic Mountains on an isolated land.

Seven Magic Mountains: A Desert Art Gem

Art is a mesmerizing thought brought to life by wonderful artists with their efforts; the creation of art is possible through expressing human imagination in visual form.

These artworks explain complex things in a simple form and sometimes provide us with completely different perspectives to view the world.
One such art is the Seven Magic Mountains, created by an artist named Ugo Rondinone.

In today’s world, art is also known as a form of expressing oneself. It depicts our understanding of various ideas and promotes the multiple ideologies hidden behind them.

Primarily, art is appreciated for its connection with natural beauty, the emotional power it holds, and its resemblance with the way of human life.

Now let’s look into one such work of art that resembles the balance between the artificial aspect and the natural one. That is none other than Seven Magic Mountains.

It is an artwork placed at the center of two different aspects: the natural aspect and the artificial aspect. Indirectly, the combination of these aspects makes the artwork unique and one of a kind.

The mountain’s unique structure and colors make it worth the view. The place of installation and the theory behind it makes it even more intriguing to the spectators.

Technically, it is a large-scale public artwork featuring seven-day glowing towers stacked with colorfully painted boulders.

The height of the totems is approximately 30-35 feet; this artwork is colorful and mesmerizing in its view.

1. About the Place

Seven Magic Mountains is a land art created by a renowned Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone. The Nevada Museum of Art and Art Production Fund produced the artwork.

The exhibition of these majestic mountains opened on May 11, 2016, and was originally scheduled for two years to be viewed by the public.

At the end of 2018, the Bureau of Land Management issued a permit for a three-year extension for the artwork, which allowed the installation to be on view till the end of 2021.

The installation site of Seven Magic Mountains is a short distance from Jean Dry Lake, wherein, in the 1960s, Michael Heizer and Jean Tinguely created wonderful land artworks.

1.1. Routes

As the Seven Magic Mountains are approximately 10 miles south of Las Vegas Boulevard and St. Rose Parkway in Henderson, there are two routes to reach the installation site.

1.1.1. From Las Vegas:

  • If you start your journey from Las Vegas, follow the I-15 S till Sloan Road [exit 25].
  • Turn left east to Las Vegas Boulevard.
  • Drive approximately 7 miles south on Las Vegas Blvd, and the artwork will appear on your left east.

1.1.2. From Los Angeles:

  • If you start your journey from Los Angeles, then drive north on Las Vegas to Jean, Nevada, on I-15.
  • Turn right east on NV-161 toward Las Vegas Blvd.
  • Drive approximately 5 miles north on Las Vegas Blvd. The artwork will appear on your right east.

The route to visit these amazing seven magic mountains is through the mountain ranges and desert. Therefore, the only way to visit these mountains is through road transport.

1.2. Location

These seven beautiful magic mountains are near the Jean dry lake, Interstate 15, approximately 10 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada.

It is situated in the Ivanpah Valley, surrounded by the Sheep Mountain, the McCullough Bird Spring, and the Goodsprings ranges of the mountain.

1.3. Things You Need to Know

  1. There is neither an admission fee nor an entrance fee to visit the installation; it is free of cost and always open to the public.
  2. No restroom facilities or other amenities are offered at the artwork site.
  3. Check out the weather conditions before visiting, as flash flood events are possible during seasonal monsoons.
  4. An unpaved walking path along a naturally occurring wash boundary in the paved parking lot. You can use the path to reach the site of installation.
  5. Photos taken by visitors are allowed for only private and non-commercial use. Photographs taken on-site are not allowed to be sold, distributed, licensed, or commercially exploited in any manner.
  6. Professional photography equipment may not be brought to the site.
  7. As the artwork is located on open public land, camping here overnight is prohibited.
  8. To ensure your safety and the safety of others, do not climb, move, dislodge, or disturb the sculptures. If you do so, you are subjected to criminal penalties, including fines and restitution payments.
  9. Be mindful of your surroundings; therefore, keep the site clean by leaving no trash behind. Pets are also welcome on the installation site, but you need to pick them up after them.
  10. Bring plenty of water and other nourishment along with you during your visit to the Seven Magic Mountains.

2. About the Artist

Ugo Rondinone is the creator of this amazing seven magic mountains artwork. He was born in 1964 in Brunnen, Switzerland, and now he lives and works mostly in New York.

He can channel both psychological expressiveness and the relationship between human beings and nature into his art. His work has been recognized due to his profound insight into the human condition.

His ability to concurrently refer to the natural world, romanticism, and existentialism in his art made his works encapsulate a mental trinity later, which underpinned his art for more than twenty years.

Some of his solo shows include:

  1. Carre d’Art, Nimes and Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam in 2016.
  2. Palais de Tokyo, Paris, and Secession, Vienna in 2015.
  3. Rockbund Art Museum, Shanghai and Museo Anahuacalli, Mexico in 2014.
  4. Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago and M Museum, Leuven in 2013.

2.1. Rondinone’s Seven Magic Mountains

Seven Magic Mountains is one of the famous artworks of Ugo Rondinone, which was opened to the public in 2016.

Due to its majestic success, Rondinone expressed a strong desire to keep the artwork on view at its current site for the future.

The producers continue to work on enabling the view for several years into the future.
As we know, the Seven Magic Mountains artwork is located in the desert region, but have you wondered why it is only near the desert region?

The reason behind it is that according to Rondinone, the location of the desert region is symbolically and physically mid-way between the natural and the artificial.

The natural aspect is expressed by the desert, mountain ranges, and Jean’s dry lake backdrop. In contrast, the artificial element is represented by the highway and the constant traffic flow between Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

People standing near the Seven Magic Mountains.
Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

3. Producers of the Artwork

Renowned artist Ugo Rondinone created the Seven Magic Mountains artwork. And the producers of this amazing artwork are the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, and the Art Production Fund, New York.

Let’s know a bit about these institutions.

3.1. Nevada Museum of Art

Nevada Museum of Art is a private non-profit organization founded in the year 1931.

Its Center for Art and Environment is an internationally recognized research center that is wholeheartedly dedicated to supporting the study, practice, and awareness of creative interactions between people and the environment.

The museum’s center holds unique archive materials from more than 1,000 artists working across all seven continents.

The Nevada Museum of Art is based in Reno and is supported by its members and sponsors through gifts and grants.

Through its collections, exhibitions, programs, and museum school, the Nevada Museum of Art provides an opportunity for people to engage with various art and education experiences.

The Making of Seven Magic Mountains

3.2. Art Production Fund

Art Production Fund is a non-profit organization founded by Yvonne Force Villareal and Doreen Remen. The Executive director of the organization is Casey Fremont.

The organization is dedicated to commissioning and producing ambitious art projects that aim to reach new audiences and expand awareness through contemporary art.

It is also a learning institute as it takes various programs related to art.

Some of their projects include:

  1. Gerard and Kelly’s Modern Living, Los Angeles, in 2016.
  2. Hanna Liden’s Everything, NYC in 2015.
  3. Friends With You, Light Cave, NYC in 2014.
  4. Jessica Craig Martin, Hyde Park Village, FL, in 2014.
  5. Vanessa Beecroft, VB73, NYC, in 2014.
  6. Deborah Kass, The Street, MA, in 2014, and many more.

Even though art is one, it still represents the multitude of thoughts and ideas sewn together. It emphasizes the fact that everyone has a unique outlook toward ideas or the chaos of life.

Closing Thoughts

So, plan a trip to these amazing mountains and see the artwork from close and understand the perspective.

Seven Magic Mountains is a pass-by destination that you can plan on visiting for your next one-day trip. A painted sculpture amid a desert surrounded by mountain ranges is a breathtaking view for the eyes you must witness.

Apart from these sculptures, you can also experience nature and its uniqueness in various other cities.

Santa Cruz Mountains and San Gabriel Valley are real masterpieces of nature as well, and they provide different other activities to keep you engaged. These natural and majestic mountains and valleys are found in California.

Hopefully, this article gave you that little bit of information you were seeking to plan this one-day trip. Happy traveling and exploring!

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Last Updated on October 27, 2023 by Sathi Chakraborty

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