Rita Ackermann, Vampire Slayer/With a Body, 2009

Rita Ackermann

Rita Ackermann is a New York-based artist who has been exhibiting her work internationally since the mid-1990s. Her work incorporates painting, drawing, and collage, and draws on a wide range of source materials and styles. The scenarios suggested by Ackermann’s work seem both staged for the viewer and privately dreamlike. Quoting, sampling, and riffing off a vast compost heap of visual material—old books of illustrated fairy tales, advertisements, punk-rock record sleeves, the history of painting—the artist causes disparate styles and visions to clash and collide.

At the close of her residency in April 2009, Ackermann showed new work at the Ice Plant. In their mix of styles and modes the paintings were playfully aggressive. Silkscreened semi-images (a cat-eyed nymph; cars; a local cowboy) appeared and sometimes repeated across the span of the paintings, growing more or less distorted according to how the artist chose to manipulate them. The canvases themselves were treated similarly: some were stretched, some not; others were gouged and rent. Ackerman’s primary mode of attack is attack.

Rita Ackermann was born in Budapest, Hungary, where she attended the Academy of Fine Arts. In the early 1990s she studied at the New York Studio School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture. She exhibits internationally and is represented by Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York. Ackermann often collaborates with musicians and other artists on multimedia performances and events.