3. Rita Ackermann | Mama, The Gamblers

300,000–350,000 USD


Rita Ackermann
b. 1968
Mama, The Gamblers
Oil, acrylic, and china marker on canvas
74 by 68 in. (188 by 172.7 cm)

Courtesy of Rita Ackermann

For Rita Ackermann, almost all of her paintings are about movement. Described by the artist, in a 2017 interview with Bomb magazine, as being ‘like a wild dancer’, Ackermann’s canvases record the gestures and acts of making; the physical energy involved is palpable. Shifting back and forth between figuration and abstraction, the works are invested with a sense of flux that compounds their dynamism. Human forms — usually female — flit in and out. Working with mixed materials — including oil and acrylic, pastel, wax pencil and raw pigment — Ackermann’s colors are vibrant and uplifting. Within this dense, fluid imagery, the artist treads a fine line between over-painting and layering, allowing each step to remain at least partially visible, honoring its contribution and ensuring the work remains fresh. Embarking on more than one series at a time, Ackermann also exercises patience, allowing the pieces to evolve organically. For her series ‘Chalkboard Paintings’ (2013–15), Ackermann primed the canvas with chalkboard paint before drawing scenes in chalk, which she then partly wiped away and redrew a number of times, making erasure and disappearance the subject of the work. Another recent series, ‘Mama’ (2019–20), comprises automatic drawings and paintings lead by the line. In her artist’s statement for the 2019 exhibition ‘Brother and Sister’, Ackermann referred to her drawings as being like ‘veins’, pumping life through the work. In all her paintings there is a lightness of touch, harnessed to intensity and drama. Yet, beyond their tumultuous energy, the works convey something intangible. As Ackermann herself said in a 2020 interview with The Talks: ‘I don’t like to describe what I paint because I cannot; if I could, I wouldn’t paint it.’ Born in Hungary in 1968, Ackermann has lived and worked in New York since the 1990s. She has exhibited globally, staging solo shows in recent years at: Triennale di Milano, Italy; Malmö Konsthall, Sweden; Sammlung Friedrichshof, Burgenland, Austria; and Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami, FL.

For inquiries, please email us at eneckes@aspenartmuseum.org .