Only when you get a closer look at her large canvases spread throughout the expansive white walls and shining white floors of the Hauser & Wirth Chelsea gallery , you detect a different story. It reminds us of the old saying to look beyond the first appearance or the cover of a book. Indeed Ackermann tells hidden stories and forces us to come closer, as if she wants you to place your ear to “hear” her secrets.
Ackermann uses generous pink girlish colors against commanding macho black brushstrokes that find a way to live together; not necessarily in peace ( , but in some obscure way the tension between draws them together Maybe this is her unique way to provoke and shake the misleading impression we saw from afar.
When she brings us closer, the heavy brushstrokes are replaced by thin sensual drawing lines. She reveals undercover stories of sexual conduct that expose themselves under an examining eye. In fact we can’t be completely certain if there is only one way to peel off the many layers of feminine loaded messages that Ms Ackermann born in Budapest, Hungary in 1968, wants us to see. It seems like, just as she presents the upper layer of the large intensive brushstrokes that collide and coincide with each other, she brings the underlying secretive two opposing worlds she draws on the canvas- together.
Her provocative images could be very easily taken from life itself, current events. Between the wars on the ground with their painful consequences and the visual war of words we all experienced during the American presidential campaign. With the help of Ms Ackermann’s wild imagination these images give us a lot of food for thought. The title of the show of course points to what you’re about to see unless you skip this written part.
After spending some time in this vast startling white room your head is spinning with the contradictory worlds she laid down for us to delve into. One of the strongest works in the show is “Kline Nurses ” two outlined bodies in pink in a posture of very close encounter with each other. This can be seen as the key work to understand what comes next.
Another body of work is featured in the adjacent room. These “Stretcher Bar” paintings reveal body parts and stormy situations being entangled in each other. By using many different materials like acrylic, spray paint, markers, oil , canvas and cardboard to express her “boiling” mind she is building even more layers of story telling.
The exhibition at the Hauser & Wirth’s temporary 22nd street gallery in New York City, will continue through January 14th 2017. It will conclude with an original performance by Leva Miseviciute, on January 13th and 14th, inspired by Rita Ackermann’s paintings.
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