An exhibition of new works by the Hungarian-born, New York-based artist Rita Ackermann
Throughout her practice, Ackermann has continuously challenged means of representation and abstraction in contemporary painting. Ackermann’s often ghost-like compositions are achieved through sweeping, determined gestures of drawing, painting and erasing, wherein figures rise to the surface only to dissolve again. The various new series on view in the Zurich gallery persist in their interrogation of how the artist’s consciousness, intentions, and movements manifest at a borderline between the formal aspects of her oeuvre.
As the exhibition title suggests, the new paintings on view draw from personal subject matters. Ackermann’s series of her Brother Paintings depict a boy skiing, whose figure is abstracted through a twilight snowstorm. The abstractions reach new heights in the artist’s recent Papi Palette Paintings, a new series in which enlarged photo reproductions of various dust jackets are utilised as surface. While illuminating the acute influence of books and literature on her practice, Ackermann obscures her various pencil-drawn figures through thick swatches of brightly coloured oil paint. Also exhibited are a continuation of the artist’s signature Chalkboard paintings, which feature figures shifting in and out of sight on the green primed chalk canvas.
Drawings are like veins; blood vessels leading to the heart…I do not know if life is forever, but I know I make paintings to live. Therefore, I must deconstruct the contours of the figure…Erased, blurred boundaries, no limits. Automatical drawings of the Dada games gave the line to the blind. The lines of the unconsciousness which lead to the unknown. Over and over re-addressing the line to blindly find the contour. Through the lines there is a flow, fast and slow, always with a different speed. Without mastering humility, it is not possible for me to obtain the vertical mobility needed to illuminate new boundaries in painting. And what I hope for my paintings is that they think themselves into existence.
Scritto da Zero Zurich