Rita Ackermann: Turning Air Blue – Hauser & Wirth Somerset
Turning Air Blue
30 Sep 2017 – 1 Jan 2018
Hauser & Wirth Somerset
‘Turning Air Blue’, an exhibition of new works by Hungarian born, New York-based artist Rita Ackermann, opens this weekend at Hauser & Wirth Somerset.
‘Turning Air Blue’ extends through two galleries and doubles as an organic continuation of Somerset’s rural setting. The exhibition starts in the Rhoades gallery, which features a body of work titled The Coronation and Massacre of Love. The paintings here are large-scale compositions on canvas primed with chalkboard paint, on which washes of white chalk and green and blue pigments have been applied. These Abstract Expressionist-like works are reminiscent of actual chalkboards in a classroom, covered with unintentional erasures and marks, yet they have been conceptually executed by multiple deletions of figurative drawings and landscapes. By way of these gestures, the revenant outline of the erased drawings often emerges into the foreground. The final picture is a record of these movements.
The exhibition continues into the Bourgeois gallery, which comprises two bodies of work: Turning Air Blue and Nudes. The paintings titled Turning Air Blue are large-scale pigment paintings on canvas where translucent figures suggest a feminine shape. These works derive from the Fire by Days series – paintings inspired by accident being the true enemy of intention – which formed Ackermann’s introductory exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, London, in 2012. The palette of these new works is rendered by flesh tones shading into blue. The large paintings have an airy lightness about them, contrasting with the much smaller Nudes. While these smaller framed oils bear a similar pigmentation, they are painted more thickly to evoke the physicality of the female body.
Rita Ackermann was born in 1968 in Budapest, Hungary. She currently lives and works in New York NY. Ackermann’s recent solo exhibitions include ‘KLINE RAPE’, Hauser & Wirth New York, 22nd Street ( 2016 – 2017), ‘The Aesthetic of Disappearance’ at Malmö Konsthalle, Malmo, Sweden (2016); ‘MEDITATION ON VIOLENCE-HAIRWASH’ at Sammlung Friedrichshof, Burgenland, Austria and Sammlung Friedrichshof Stadtraum, Vienna, Austria (2014); ‘Negative Muscle’, Hauser & Wirth New York, 69th Street (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 featured in numerous group presentations ‘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 and Studio’, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2010) and ‘Whitney Biennial’, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY (2008).