Rita Ackermann

Splits: Printing | Painting

2 May – 26 July 2024

New York, 18th Street

On 2 May, Hauser & Wirth will present Rita Ackermann’s latest series of paintings and prints in simultaneous exhibitions spanning the gallery’s two West Chelsea locations. At 542 West 22nd Street, the artist will debut a suite of new canvases expanding upon the techniques, themes and imagery she has explored over the course of her career since the early 1990s, while at 443 West 18th Street she will unveil a series of complex large-scale silkscreens. Heralding a significant leap in her artistic practice, these prints represent a dramatic convergence of the technical processes of printmaking with Ackermann’s sustained exploration of form, movement and erasure.

Dr. Pamela Kort on Rita Ackermann’s exhibitions:

Splits: Printing | Painting
In the thick of bringing to canvas the metamorphic forms that would become the ‘Splits,’ Ackermann embarked on a new artistic endeavor, delving into the realm of printmaking. In the resultant seven large-scale silkscreens, which she produced in collaboration with master printer Keigo Takahashi, her concern with making manifest such images became imbued with a related objective: the transformation of paintings into prints, without recourse to the reproduction of a model. Though these silkscreens diverge from the compositional principles of the ‘Splits,’ like them they probe the boundaries of optical perception. To emphasize this, the exhibition includes two recent paintings. One of these—’The Rule of Nature’ (2023)—which belongs to the ‘Splits,’ even bears the marks of Ackermann’s concern with combining monotype printing with painting. Viewers who perceive that will nevertheless find it difficult to distinguish between the look of the other painting—’Misfit’ (2023)—and the silkscreens.

This visual feat owes just as much to the artist’s decision to approach the making of these silkscreens as though she were working on a canvas, as to any sleight of the hand enabled by their production. Ackermann began by layering drawings onto paper and then gradually superimposed gestural brush strokes, color stains and delicate droplets of pigment onto the underlying drawings, welcoming the occurrence of accidents through this process. This not only made the contrast between emerging and disappearing forms integral to many of her paintings visible, but also conveyed a sense of the centrifugal motion that frequently ensues in them. As such, those who contemplate these first silkscreens by the artist may well find themselves questioning whether the alleged split between printmaking and painting is, in fact, purely theoretical.

2 May – 26 July 2024

Rita Ackermann. Splits

Titled ‘Splits,’ Ackermann’s latest paintings mark a pinnacle in the artist’s ongoing concern with the creation of dynamic, moving images. In these canvases, forms cascade downward and upward, at times merging seamlessly into one another

On view at New York, 22nd Street

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About the Artist

Rita Ackermann

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.

Current Exhibitions