New York based artist Rita Ackermann indefatigably develops her artistic vocabulary further. Recently, she begun to meld abstraction and figuration creating paintings that seamlessly oscillate between presence and disappearance. This tactic marks a new development in a progression of radical changes that Ackermann has introduced to her paintings over the past years. For the Triennale di Milano she exhibits some of her most appealing works from the so-called chalk painting series in the most comprehensive show of this group so far, containing several multi-part installations such as Aesthetic of Disappearance(2014) and Meditation on Violence (2014). The exhibition is curated by Gianni Jetzer, Independent curator in New York, and Curator-at-Large at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.
In the chalk paintings that Ackermann developed since 2013 the process of accumulation is countered by a destabilizing self-eradication. Neither absent nor present, the painted figure resides in an unstable state. Rather than abandon figuration for abstraction, she instead aims for an ambiguous interstitial zone, literally blurring the lines that divide one from the other. The paintings, monumental in scale, are based as much upon a bouquet of arabesques as it is upon the underlying presence of ghostlike figures. Its singular composition expands beyond its frame, out into several other paintings of the same series. Hanging in groups, the paintings form a chapel-like environment and become windows into an abstract world, subtly containing landscapes inhabited by human figures.