Fire By Days
May 2 — Jun 17 2012
"...Like the Guston work, Ackermann’s painting, Fire by Days XX (2012), is ugly too. But I hate it. The large work resembles a bloody diaper and has all the charm associated with a soiled undergarment. Ackermann, unlike Guston, does not compose elements as much as she vomits in the direction of a canvas. From the puke, I could detect what looked to be an elfin head in profile with a Pinocchio nose. Or, I detected a headless figure groping its crotch (maybe it’s both). But who cares. It’s all surface, no style.
As I mulled over the show, I had to ask myself why I find the pairing so outrageous. Both artists' work can be described as grotesque. Why is one grotesque more appealing than another grotesque? Is it just a matter of personal taste or preference?
What is intriguing about this show and format is it forced me to reconsider an artist that I have often dismissed as a hack, or trash-collector-cum-painter. It also forced me to think about what it is that I admire about Guston, and why it is I admire his work. With Ackermann’s amorphous red-stain looming over my shoulder, Guston’s sense of composition never seemed tighter, more controlled and dramatic. His icons have a depth and weight. I can see and feel the world he is depicting. Plus, they seem to simultaneously emerge and recede from the pink abyss of his backgrounds.
If it were not for Franklin Parrasch Gallery, I would have never have thought to utter Guston and Ackermann in the same breath."
— Brendan S. Carroll, Hyperallergic, 3/26/2012
In her second solo exhibition at The Journal Gallery Rita Ackermann presents five works on paper from the series "Fire by Days," her sole ongoing subject since December, 2010. The works are based on a single composition that is executed in two primary colors: red and blue.
Born in Hungary, Rita Ackermann lives and works in New York, NY. Ackermann's solo exhibition is currently on view at MoCA North Miami, FL, and her work will be included in the forthcoming group exhibition "Mix / Remix" at Luhring Augustine, New York, NY. Her recent solo exhibitions include "Bakos" at Ludwig Muzeum, Budapest, Hungary (November, 2011 - March, 2012); "Shadowfux" with Harmony Korine at Swiss Institute, New York, NY (2011); "WARFILMS" at The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2011); "Last Exit to Poitiers" at Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France (2010) and "Marfa/Crash" at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, TX (2009). Ackermann's work has been included in group exhibitions including "Rita Ackermann + Philip Guston" at Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, NY (2012) "Tableaux," Le Magasin, Centre National d'Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France (2011), "Looking at Music: 3.0" at MoMA, New York, NY (2011); "Street and Studio" at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria (2010) and the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of Art, New York, NY (2008). In 2011, Rizzoli published Ackermann's self-titled monograph. "Shadowfux," her collaborative work with Harmony Korine, was published by Swiss Institute, New York, NY.