Roni Horn An Elusive Red Figure

Roni Horn, known for her conceptually driven artwork spanning various mediums, continues her exploration of identity and distinction in the exhibition ‘An Elusive Red Figure…’ at Hauser & Wirth Zurich, located on Limmatstrasse. This exhibition, opening in June as part of Zurich Art Weekend, showcases a new piece by Horn entitled ‘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).

‘An Elusive Red Figure…’ consists of 33 paired inkjet prints, exhibited throughout the second-floor gallery space. Following the 2021 work ‘LOG (March 22, 2019 – May 17, 2020),’ this collection features outtakes from ‘LOG’ alongside original drawings, including quotations, collages, photographs, casual commentaries, notes on news and weather events, and original texts by Horn. ‘LOG,’ initially showcased at Hauser & Wirth New York in 2021, is a large-scale installation comprising 406 individual paper works. It emerged from Horn’s daily commitment to drawing over a fourteen-month period.

Drawing has been a defining aspect of Horn’s artistic practice since the 1980s, and ‘An Elusive Red Figure…’ exemplifies her deep connection with this medium, which she describes as “a kind of breathing activity on a daily level.” While creating the drawings on paper that ultimately became the paired inkjet prints, Horn documented weather conditions, personal experiences, and noteworthy thoughts or observations that came to mind. One page, dated 2019, serves as a diary entry chronicling a visit to Zurich during scorching 94-degree Fahrenheit weather. It includes a photographic portrait of the artist accompanied by handwritten idioms such as ‘I could cry my eyes out’ and ‘laugh my head off.’ Another page, vibrant in bright yellow, features the phrase ‘I am paralyzed with hope’ from a monologue by stand-up comedian Maria Bamford. Horn interprets this line as a poignant connection to our current political and environmental landscape, as well as the ongoing pandemic.

WHERE Hauser & Wirth Limmatstrasse 270 Zurich
WHEN 9 Jun – 16 Sep 2023.

Image: courtesy of Hauser Wirth

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