The opposing impulses of creation and destruction mark the touchstone of the Hungarian-born, New York–based artist Rita Ackermann’s practice, which continues to evolve and manifest itself in the shift from representation to abstraction.

Ackermann’s compositions occupy a space where human forms simultaneously disappear and reemerge. In a series titled Chalkboard Paintings, large-scale compositions on canvas were primed with chalkboard paint, on which washes of white chalk and green and blue pigments were applied. These works, akin to Abstract Expressionism, are reminiscent of actual chalkboards in a classroom, covered with seemingly 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.

Ackermann’s recent solo exhibitions include Mama ‘20, Hauser & Wirth Zürich (2020); Mama ‘19, Hauser & Wirth New York (2020); Brother and Sister, Hauser & Wirth Zürich (2019); Movements as Monuments, La Triennale di Milano (2018); Turning Air Blue, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, England (2017); and The Aesthetic of Disappearance, Malmö Konsthall, Malmö, Sweden (2016).

Books from Rita ACKERMANN

Chapter 4