Rita Ackermann

1968 | Budapest, Hungary
Rita Ackermann — AWARE Women artists / Femmes artistes

© Photo: Marton Perlaki

— Gallery Hauser & Wirth

Hungarian-American multimedia artist.

Rita Ackermann studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest from 1989 to 1992, then at the Studio School of Painting, Drawing and Sculpture in New York, where she found the teaching too conservative. Feeling closer to pop culture than to movements endorsed by the elites of the art world, she experimented in different fields, focusing equally on drawing, collage and performance. Uninterested in established judgements and academism, she takes her inspiration from urban culture, street art and the world of the night. Strongly influenced by the underground music scene, her production has often benefited from collaborative projects with cult figures on the punk and no wave scene, such as Sonic Youth (Sensational Fix, 2008). Thus, the bubbling vitality of New York in the 1980s resurfaces in her visual chronicles fuelled by fantasized images of a living, demonic reality that is also ordinary and blunt. Ackermann reinterprets the image of women and focuses on the darkest aspects of adolescent life. If You Keep Your Mouth Shut (1994) is a manifesto work that has enjoyed great success in the form of an intimate diary in images.

Adopting a world of glamorous, Lolita-like nymphettes, she observes the ideals, fantasies, conventions and convictions of an entire generation in search of identity. She has appointed herself the spokesperson for a young generation swept up by a desire for rebellion and immediate gratification. Her evanescent figures, set in installations formed by combinations of drawings, paintings and collages, are shown in sensual poses and lustful postures. In Toast For No Fear! (2007), a classic cultural heritage is infused with pop imagery – faces of weeping madonnas are mingled with the sleek eroticism of mischievous manga heroines. Ackermann brings together all the extremes of female imagery, ranging from the figure of the prostitute to that of the Blessed Virgin.

Claire Bickert

Translated from French by Timothy Stroud.

From the Dictionnaire universel des créatrices
© 2013 Des femmes – Antoinette Fouque
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
Discover other artists

of Women Artists
& Exhibitions

Facebook - AWARE Twitter - AWARE Instagram - AWARE
Villa Vassilieff - 21, avenue du Maine 75015 Paris (France) — info[at]aware-art[.]org — +33 (0)1 55 26 90 29