Roni Horn, Skulls Of The World Unite, Orange Hope 2022 / Courtesy of the artist
Roni Horn: An Elusive Red Figure…
Jun 9 – Sep 16, 2023
Hauser & Wirth
Zurich, Switzerland

Known for conceptually oriented work in diverse media, Roni Horn continues her exploration of identity and difference with the exhibition An Elusive Red Figure…, on view at Hauser & Wirth Zurich, Limmatstrasse. Opening last June during Zurich Art Weekend, Horn presented a new work titled: “An elusive Red Figure darting about in the Venetian darkness; a red dwarf burning out beyond Saturn; a nasty gang of runts in red snowsuits acting out in a North American suburb; an attractive young Italian woman dressed in red is stalked by a lesbian serial killer; a village girl, the prettiest you can imagine, in a red velvet hood cut from the belly of a sleeping wolf …. (2022)”.

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Drawing has been a defining element of Horn’s artistic practice since the 1980s and An Elusive Red Figure… is emblematic of Horn’s relationship with the medium, which she has described as ‘a kind of breathing activity on a daily level.’ Whilst creating the drawings on paper that would become the paired ink jet prints for An Elusive Red Figure…, Horn would describe the events of weather, private life and anything notable that came to mind or hand at the time. One set of prints notes the temperature during a trip that the artist took to Zurich in July in 2019, others feature photographs of the artist, or cultural figures such as Aretha Franklin or Elizabeth Taylor, pasted alongside drawings or notations. Another page coloured bright yellow is inscribed with the line ‘I am paralyzed with hope’ from a monologue by the stand-up comedian Maria Bamford, which Horn describes as a ‘poignant connection to our time with regards to politics and the environment and now, of course, in relation to the pandemic’.

Her preoccupation with language permeates the works; scattered words read as a stream of consciousness spiralling across the paper. “I’m not telling you what I’m doing every day”, says Horn, “but when you add all of these bits together, you get my sensibility”. These intricate works on paper extend Horn’s masterful use of mirroring and textual play to explore the materiality of colour and the sculptural potential of drawing.

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