Artist Roni Horn has spent the past four decades questioning accepted notions of identity and meaning, thwarting closure and opening up new possibilities of perception through her expansive body of work across mediums. This relentless approach to her craft, exploring modes of perception and language as expressed through nuanced, subtle material inventions, takes center stage here in a show of recent work at Hauser & Wirth in New York. Compiling a selection of drawings described as “a kind of breathing activity on a daily level,”the show welcomes an engaging continuation of her interest in speech, written text, and understanding.
‘Recent Work’ follows the artist’s two-part 2019 drawing survey Roni Horn: When I Breathe, I Draw at the Menil Collection in Houston, a summary of this vital aspect of her craft that has long helped to inform her explorations of space, landscape, meaning, and her movements through it. The show at Hauser & Wirth takes this conception towards a new ground. Here, intricate works on paper extend Horn’s use of mirroring and textual play to explore the materiality of color and the sculptural potential of the medium, building blocks and lines out of text, or allowing momentary embellishments to inform her pieces. Her preoccupation with language abounds; scattered words read as a stream of consciousness spiraling across the paper. In addition to pieces from her series Wits’ End Mash and Yet, the exhibition presents for the first time LOG (March 22, 2019 – May 17, 2020), (2019 – 2020), a new large-scale installation comprised of more than 400 individual works on paper, the result of a daily ritual of art making undertaken by Horn for a span of fourteen months.
The works in LOG are a running series of documentations, flickers of casual speech and captured moments, each one hinting at an internal world beyond the artist’s often free-associative conceptual works. “I am paralyzed with hope,” reads one, dotted with a date and location on a sticky note on the bottom corner. Horn’s welcoming in of new emotional modes and plaintive speech is a fascinating one, allowing the artist’s work a sense of lateral movement that sees it moving into new realms of vulnerability in the midst of its experiments with text.
The show closes April 10th.
– C. Rhinehardt
Roni Horn: Recent Works [Exhibition Site]