In ‘Yet 9’ the viewer’s gaze is drawn to the powerfully tactile surface and to the density of form at the centre of the composition, which dissipates radially towards the edges of the drawing. Upon closer inspection, cut out fragments of paper give way to undulating ribbons and strips that are architecturally composed and carefully placed, painted with vibrant purples and subdued burnt umbers. Bisecting lines and words simultaneously pull the viewer’s attention towards the center of the composition and outwards towards the edge of the drawing. The intricate detail in ‘Yet 9’ is deeply captivating, enticing endless examination.
Horn first began making pigment drawings in the 1980s and has continued to do so ever since. With each decade, her drawings have grown in scale and complexity, culminating in dynamic works such as her ‘Yet’ series (which currently consists of ten, unique drawings). To create these drawings, Horn applies powdered pigment and graphite into drawings called ‘plates’ (applying varnish once dry). She then meticulously cuts and reassembles the drawings, simultaneously separating and marrying the different elements edge to edge to form a new composition.
These pieces may undergo several cycles of splicing and stitching together before taking their ultimate form – sometimes, Horn revisits a work at a later date, as she has done in ‘Yet 9’. Pencil marks, numbers and words are often interspersed between shards of color as Horn annotates the joining of plates in each drawing. The result is a delicate and formally complex masterpiece, which not only demonstrates Horn’s sculptural approach to arrangement and placement but also her preoccupation with language and meaning.
Using drawing, photography, installation, sculpture and literature, Roni Horn’s work consistently questions and generates uncertainty to thwart closure in her work, engaging with many different concerns and materials. Important across her oeuvre is her longstanding interest to the protean nature of identity, meaning, and perception, as well as the notion of doubling; issues which continue to propel Horn’s practice.