Currently on view at Hauser & Wirth’s recently opened exhibition space on 22nd Street, artist Roni Horn is presenting a quartet of new bodies of work, running through the artist’s broad and often adventurous approach to her chosen media. Ranging from, drawing and painting through to sculpture, photography and conceptual work, Horn’s practice is on full view here, always centering back on questions of perception, representation, identity and memory. Deconstructing both linguistic systems and visual cues, Horn’s new pieces continue her subtly exploratory and phenomenologically resonant practice.
The show contains a broad selection of works emphasizing Horn’s aesthetic and perceptual interests, running through a series of both familiar forms and new approaches. Her immediately recognizable sculptures are spread along one wall, delicate curving blocks of opaque glass that twist and bend the light around their edges and surfaces, creating a sense of time and movement engaged by the viewer and their continued pathways around the object. The clean, calm sense of minimalism takes on a natural bent, echoing Horn’s years working out of a studio in Iceland, surrounded by the island’s robust environment and wealth of geothermal phenomena.
Yet Horn’s work equally delves into more concrete engagements with human cognition and understanding as well, particularly through the other works on view in the galleries. Her piece The Selected Gifts, for instance, puts forward a series of images documenting personal treasures given to the artist over the last 40 years, including books, toys and trinkets that are presented here against a clean white backdrop. The images, collected here and often exploring objects from various angles and vantage points, create a fragmented sense of the artist’s own life, a prismatic view of her own personality as seen first through the eyes of her gift-givers, and secondly through her own selection of each object for inclusion. The dual-movements of intensely personal engagement ultimately present a system of images that feels distinctly abstracted from any easy reading of the artist herself.
By contrast, her other pair of works on view, The Dog’s Chorus (2016) and Th Rose Prblm (2015), both see the artist returning to her labor-intensive drawing practice, repeatedly dismantling and reassembling her own sketches and drawings into jaggedly brusque arrangements of paper, landscapes of material that are lent additional conceptual potency and fluidity through the occasional juxtaposition of printed text emerging from the twisted masses assembled within the frame. Sprinkling her works with evocative poetic fragments and occasional twinge of familiarity, Horn’s pieces allow a continued engagement with the act of understanding, welcoming the viewer to move in and out of the work’s delicate thread of referents, and to build their own meanings within it, much in the same way that Horn’s glass sculptures twist light and space through the viewer’s own movements.
Horn’s work is on view through July 29th.
— D. Creahan
Roni Horn at Hauser & Wirth [Exhibition Space]