Hauser & Wirth presents new show: Rita Ackermann, Brother and Sister

HAUSER & Wirth is presenting a new exhibition by by artist Rita Ackermann, entitled Brother and Sister at its Zurich venue. With venues all over the world, Hauser & Wirth presents the work of emerging and established modern artists from a global perspective.

Born in Hungary and based in New York, Rita Ackermann is inspired by personal subject matters in this new exhibition, particularly in her Brother paintings, which depict a young boy skiing even as the definition of his outline is lost in the twilight snowstorm.

Rita Ackermann, Strokes of Disappearance, 2018Rita Ackermann, Strokes of Disappearance, 2018

Rita Ackermann, Mama, 2018Rita Ackermann, Mama, 2018

Abstract and ethereal, Ackermann’s compositions can feel ghost-like; with the elusive lines dissolving as soon as you feel you’ve pinned them down. It is a fine line between abstraction and figuration, leaving the artist a great deal of scope to explore the hidden depths of meaning contained in the perception of the human form.

The exhibition includes some of the artist’s Papi Palette Paintings, which use enlarged photo reproductions of book dust jackets as surfaces, on top of which pencil-drawn figures are obscured behind thick swatches of brightly coloured oil paint.

Also exhibited are some of the artist’s signature Chalkboard Paintings, which show figures in whites, greens and blues shifting in and out of sight on a green primed chalk canvas. A cyclical process of creation and destruction, the erasure of the figures is as important for Ackermann as their original creation, as with continued erasure, shapes become less definite, allowing new forms to appear.

Rita Ackermann, Night Fall, 2018Rita Ackermann, Night Fall, 2018

The elusive lines of Ackermann’s paintings contribute to a feeling of movement in her pieces, a feeling which she feels is pushed further by the fact is created by the physical effect of her own activity.

In an interview with fellow artist Josh Smith, Ackermann said, “almost all my paintings are about movement; forms or figures moving in and out of dimensions of depth within a rectangle.

“Lines can become the traces of movements. For example, when I make the chalkboard paintings, the physical effort of erasing is recorded.”

Rita Ackermann’s work is enigmatic; hovering between the abstract and the figurative. This is however a decisively compelling exhibition, which makes evident Ackermann’s celebration of the power of art to animate the inanimate.

by Hannah Valentine

Rita Ackermann, Brother and Sister runs at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich until March 2 2019

Hauser & Wirth, Limmatstrasse 270, 8005 Zürich

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