In Ackermann’s Mama series, repeated imagery is often combined with vivid swathes of color, giving her work a complex visual component that oscillates between abstraction and figuration. Her images are the product of automatic lines and gestures, a subconscious unfolding of form. We visit the artist in upstate New York where she has been working on her latest body of work—a continuation of her Mama series.
For her new series of works on paper, Ackermann applies oil and china marker to create intimate incarnations of her larger canvases. Titling them as ‘studies’, Ackermann focuses on details of her Mama paintings, obscuring various pencil-drawn figures through thick veils of brightly colored oil paint. ‘Mama ‘20’ at Hauser & Wirth Zürich continues Ackermann’s distinctive approach to painting and the coalescence between the personal and collective experience within.
Ackermann’s distinctive approach to layering yields a framework for a maelstrom of vibrant pigments and textures that invite and immerse the viewer.
In works such as ‘Mama, The Best is Always Yet To Come’ (2020), the weight of the paint’s application combined with the additive and subtractive process of color and figurative line, evoke a nuanced interior realm.
Pastel, pigment, china marker, and oil create a depth of surface, which are scraped away to reveal figures of shattered compositions.
About the artist
Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1968, 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.
On view in Zürich
‘Rita Ackermann. Mama ‘20’ is on view now at Hauser & Wirth Zurich, Tue – Fri, 11 am – 6 pm, Sat, 11 am – 5 pm