Beginning 20 February, 2020, Hauser & Wirth in New York 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 color combine in complex visual currents. In other works, Ackermann’s distinctive approach to the 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. Hers is a study of relationships – between figuration and abstraction, between personal and collective experience.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1968, Rita 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.
The exhibit at Hauser & Wirth in New York will be on view through April 11, 2020.