With the help of a structural engineer, the New York–based sculptor Ugo Rondinone transforms his collection of “scholar rocks,” or naturally eroded limestone, into 13-foot-high monuments made from steel structures, polystyrene, sand, gravel, and pebbles.

Rondinone recently completed a series of 17 sculptures titled We Run Through the Desert on Burning Feet, All of Us Are Glowing Our Faces Look Twisted; five pieces are on display in the Art Institute’s Bluhm Family Terrace through April 20, 2014.

“I cannot wait for them to catch the snow in twilight over the course of the winter,” says the museum’s chief contemporary curator, James Rondeau. “It will be magical.”