AO On Site – New York: Friday, May 7th, Roni Horn at Hauser & Wirth through June 19th, 2010

May 10th, 2010


All photographs by Oskar Proctor for ArtObserved

Currently on view at Hauser & Wirth New York is “Else,” the first exhibition in the United States devoted exclusively to the drawings of Roni Horn.  The show, composed of six new large-scale works up to eight by ten feet in size, will remain on view through June 19, 2010 at 32 East 69th Street.

The new works lend themselves to multiple viewing angles: from far away they appear as densely-packed thumbprints and dissipating hearts. A closer look reveals involved diagrams reminiscent of tesselations and multiplying cells. The heavily textured images are composed of cut paper, red painted lines, and the artist’s fractured pencil notes. Ever aware of the material, the stamp of the paper manufacturer feature prominently on the outer edges of several works. The intricacy and density of the compositions are contrasted with the artist’s simple, large scrawled signature, which floats, relaxed, detached from the rest in a sea of oaktag.


Björk at Friday night’s opening

More text, images and related links after the jump…


Artist Roni Horn

Roni Horn, Else 4, 2o1o, Red pigments and varnish on paper – courtesy of Hauser and Wirth Gallery.

The exhibition’s press release sheds light on Horn’s process of creating these intricate new works: “Horn begins with two drawings of similar forms, which she refers to as ‘plates.’ The two plates are then brought together through a process of cutting and pasting to create a new form and identity. These drawings, like all of Horn’s photographic and sculptural installations, continue the exploration of identity through doubling, repetition, and the paired form.”


A video of the opening

Close up, the works become gestural and mesmerizingly intricate, the eye lapping up the enigmatically random words and numbers. The details are academic, like an architect’s crazed late-night construction. When one steps away again, the images return to neatly contained chaos.


Irwin Wirth


Detail, Roni Horn, Else 5, 2o1o, Red pigments and varnish on paper – courtesy of Hauser and Wirth Gallery.

The recent Icelandic volcanic eruption at Eyjafjallajokull did not stop the artist, who lives and works in New York City and Reykjavik, Iceland, from attending her opening. Also in attendance were musician Bjork and her artist husband Matthew Barney, artist Martin Creed, whose two-man show with Jonathan Horowitz at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise opened Sunday May 9, actress Rachel Weisz, and long-time friend and assistant to Louise Bourgeoise, Jerry Gorovoy.

Roni Horn, born in New York City in 1955, graduated with a BFA from RISD and an MFA from Yale.  Having exhibited internationally for three decades, the artist’s recent solo shows include the Tate Modern, the Gagosian Gallery, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.  She has received the CalArts/Alpert Award in the Arts, and myriad fellowships from the Guggenheim and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Jerry Gorovoy

Roni Horn, Else 10, 2o1o, Red pigments and varnish on paper – courtesy of Hauser and Wirth Gallery.

Roni Horn, Else 6, 2o1o, Red pigments and varnish on paper – courtesy of Hauser and Wirth Gallery.

Roni Horn, Else 9, 2o1o, Red pigments and varnish on paper – courtesy of Hauser and Wirth Gallery.

Roni Horn, Else 5, 2o1o, Red pigments and varnish on paper – courtesy of Hauser and Wirth Gallery.


Matthew Barney

– J. Lindblad

Related Links:
Exhibition Website [Hauser & Wirth]
Gaining a Voice and an Identity in Minimalism [The New York Times]
Roni Horn: Interview and Biography  [Art 21]