New York...Beginning 20 February, Hauser & Wirth will present the latest body of work by Hungarian born, New York-based artist Rita Ackermann: a suite of new paintings in which figures and motifs rise to the surface of canvases, only to dissolve and reappear elsewhere again.
In such works as Mama Painting for Mars (2019), repeated figurative imagery and expanses of intense colour combine in complex visual currents. In other works, Ackermann's distinctive approach to layering of drawings, yields a framework for a maelstrom of vibrant pigments and textures that seem to advance toward the viewer with velocity.
Like Ackermann's 'Chalkboard Paintings' (2015), the works on view in Mama '19 are built through an additive and subtractive process. Here, her palette and gestural vocabulary has expanded to evoke a vibrant interior realm through the application of paint. Thick layers of impasto and oil stick are vigorously and repeatedly applied and scraped in such works as Mama, Morty Smoking (2019), with both the paintbrush and the artist's bare hands working to shape a site of ancestry and conception.
However, Ackermann's work rejects efforts to read as stories. An inheritor of the gestural abstractions of such American masters as Willem de Kooning and Cy Twombly, her images are the product of automatic gestures, a subconscious unfolding on the canvas. Her's is a study of relationships-between figuration and abstraction, between personal and collective experience within.
As an extension of the exhibition, Rita Ackermann Mama '19 is accompanied by a publication featuring essays by Scott Griffin and Harmony Korine.
About the Artist
Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1968, Ackermann currently lives and works in New York. Ackermann's practice manifests in paintings and works on paper that propose a continuous shift between representation and abstraction. Employing a range of media, including oil and acrylic paint, pastel, wax pencil, and raw pigment, her expression hinges on automatic gestures and opposing impulses of creation and destruction.
Ackermann's recent solo exhibitions include: Brother Sister, Hauser & Wirth Zurich, Switzerland (2019), Movements as Monuments, La Triennale di Milano, Italy (2018); Turning Air Blue, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, England (2017); KLINE RAPE, Hauser & Wirth New York, 22nd Street, NY (2016); The Aesthetic of Disappearance, Malmö Konsthall, Malmo, Sweden (2016); Chalkboard Paintings, Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Switzerland (2015); MEDITATION ONVIOLENCE-HAIR WASH, Sammlung Friedrichshof, Burgenland, Austria and Sammlung Friedrichshof Stadtraum, Vienna, Austria (2014); Negative Muscle, Hauser & Wirth New York, 69th Street, NY (2013); Fire by Days, Hauser & Wirth London, Piccadilly (2012); the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami FL (2012); Bakos, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary (2011); and Rita Ackermann and Harmony Korine: ShadowFux, Swiss Institute, New York NY (2010).
Ackermann's work has also been featured in numerous group presentations including Michael Jackson: On the Wall, National Portrait Gallery, London, England (2018); Tainted Love, Contort Moderne, Poitiers, France (2018); Transmissions: recreation - repetition, Paris, France (2015); Extreme Drawing: Ballpoint Pen Drawing Since 1950, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield CT, (2013); Pivot Points: 15 Years and Counting, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, Miami FL (2013); Looking at Music: 3.0,, Museum of Modern Art, New York NY (2011); Inaugural Exhibition, New Jersey Museum of Contemporary Art, New York NY (2010); Street andStudio, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2010) and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY (2008).
Press release courtesy Hauser & Wirth.