Artist Talk and Exhibition Walkthrough: Rita Ackermann with Curator Gianni Jetzer
On the occasion of the exhibition ‘Rita Ackermann. Mama ‘20’ currently on view at Hauser & Wirth in Zurich, and in anticipation of the release of Hauser & Wirth Publishers new monograph for the exhibition, join us for a live virtual walkthrough and conversation with the artist Rita Ackermann along with Curator Gianni Jetzer.
About ‘Rita Ackermann. Mama ‘20’ Hungarian-born, New York-based artist Rita Ackermann presents her latest body of work – a continuation of her Mama series – consisting of automatic drawings and paintings on canvas which reveal her persisting interrogation of line, color and form.
This new suite of paintings on both canvas and paper, feature figures and motifs which rise to the surface only to dissolve and reappear elsewhere again. 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.
About Gianni Jetzer
Gianni Jetzer is a prolific curator specializing in contemporary art. He has more than two decades of experience as director and curator of museum exhibitions in Europe, Asia, and North America. After having gained a reputation curating exhibitions at the Migros Museum in Zurich, he became Kunsthalle St. Gallen’s youngest Director in 2001. During his five-year tenure, he raised the international profile of this already well-respected institution with cutting-edge shows. In 2006, he left his native Switzerland to become Director of Swiss Institute in New York, where he spurred significant growth in both outreach and reputation, eventually leading to the relaunch of the popular non-profit institution in a storefront space in the heart of SoHo. While Jetzer was at the helm of the organization, renowned art critic Jerry Saltz wrote: “the Swiss Institute proves that it is one of the best spaces in town.”
Since 2013, Gianni Jetzer has worked as an independent curator and, from 2014 on, as Curator-at-Large at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC. Thus far, he has curated three thematic exhibitions there ranging from the substitution of the human body in digital art to the impact of commodity culture in the New York art scene of the 1980s.
The immersive nature of Rita Ackermann’s Mama suite is fully illustrated and expressed in this book, with a critical essay by Gianni Jetzer that explores and contextualizes Rita’s evolution as an artist and the significance of the Mama works, complementing filmmaker Harmony Korine’s fake interview with Ackermann and a tribute to the artist by Scott Griffin. The importance of Ackermann’s drawings in her painting practice is elucidated in a poem by the artist and seen in the book’s robust plate section, which features all of the Mama paintings made to date.