ART NEWS, New York

Hauser & Wirth New York – Roni Horn + Spring

New York…On 4 April, Hauser & Wirth will open an exhibition of new works by Roni Horn at the gallery’s Wooster Street location in New York City. Renowned for a practice that combines conceptual rigor with an exquisite visual sensuality, Horn will present her latest series of works on paper and never before exhibited cast-glass sculptures. Highlighting her enduring exploration of identity, meaning and perception, these works continue to reveal Horn’s deeply conscientious engagement in humanity’s relationship to the natural world.

Drawing has been integral to Horn’s oeuvre for nearly 40 years. Describing it as her ‘primary activity,’ she expands the language of mark-making by constructing, deconstructing and then reconstructing images and texts. A meditation on meaning, Horn’s unique process of taking things apart and putting them back together anew tests the limits of draftsmanship by exploring its sculptural potential. For her latest series, titled ‘Slarips’ (the word ‘spirals’ written in reverse), Horn began by making watercolor spirals in an array of hues. She then cut up the painted images and collaged them together into new tessellated compositions. Each is titled with a deliberate misspelling of the word ‘spirals,’ signaling a profound departure from the work’s original source material.

Horn is an avid reader, and as much a writer as she is a visual artist. Words naturally permeate her practice. In this exhibition, her use of language pertains to the works’ titles, which act as entrance rather than explanation. Horn’s wordplay also figures in the sculptures on view: the titles of the six luminous cast-glass forms feature quotes from novels, films and radio broadcasts. These shallow tapered circular forms––a new shape in Horn’s ongoing glass works––are infused with a singular color drawn from a palette of whites, blacks and blues. As daylight pours in from the skylights, moving across the gallery and changing temperature over the course of the day, the saturation and transparency of the colors likewise shift. The subtle effects of varying light, combined with viewers’ movements in the room, activate these works, which defy any fixed reading.

The artist began making cast-glass sculptures in the mid-1990s, pouring colored molten glass into molds that would then gradually anneal over the course of several months. Horn spent years developing a specific technical process that furnishes her finished works with a nearly alchemical quality: they appear simultaneously fluid and solid. Visually ambiguous, their opaque, roughly textured sides bear impressions of the molds in which they were cast, while their glossy, fire-polished tops recall the crystal-clear surface of an undisturbed pool of water. Water, often considered a universal symbol for change, is a constant theme for Horn, once stating she is ‘…fascinated by this idea of water as a form of perpetual relation, not so much a substance but a thing whose identity was based on its relation to other things…. Rather than an object, water becomes a metaphor for consciousness—of time, of physicality, of the human condition.’

About the artist

Roni Horn’s approach consistently generates uncertainty to thwart closure in her work. Important across her oeuvre is her longstanding interest to the protean nature of identity, meaning and perception, as well as the notion of doubling; issues which continue to propel Horn’s practice.

This spring, Horn’s work will be presented in the following solo exhibitions: ‘Roni Horn. Give Me Paradox or Give Me Death,’ at Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany (23 March – 11 August); ‘Roni Horn. The Detour of Identity,’ at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark (2 May – 1 September); and at Hauser & Wirth Menorca (11 May – 27 October).

Recent exhibitions include ‘Roni Horn: A dream dreamt in a dreaming world is not really a dream… but a dream not dreamt is’ at He Art Museum, Shunde, China (2023); ‘Roni Horn: I am paralyzed with hope,’ Centro Botín, Santander, Spain (2022); ‘Félix González-Torres / Roni Horn’, Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection, Paris, France (2022); ‘Roni Horn: When You See Your Reflection in Water, Do You Recognize the Water in You?,’ Pola Museum, Hakone, Japan (2021 – 2022); ‘Roni Horn. You are the Weather,’ Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland (2020); ‘Roni Horn: When I Breathe, I Draw, Part I’, Menil Collection, Houston TX (2019), ‘Roni Horn’, Glenstone Museum, Potomac MD (2017), a survey exhibition of four decades of Horn’s work; ‘Roni Horn,’ Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland (2016); ‘Roni Horn’, de Pont Museum, Tilburg, Netherlands (2016); ‘Roni Horn. Butterfly to Oblivion,’ Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles, France (2015); ‘Roni Horn.Butterfly Doubt,’ Hauser & Wirth London (2015); ‘Roni Horn. ‘Everything was sleeping as if the universe were a mistake,’’ traveled from Hauser & Wirth New York, 18th Street (2013) to Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, Spain (2014) and Caixa Forum, Madrid, Spain (2014).

Horn’s works are featured in numerous major international institutions and collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York NY; Museum of Modern Art, New York NY; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL; Tate Modern, London, England; Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany; Kunsthaus Zürich, Switzerland; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France.

Caption and courtesy information:

All images:
Roni Horn
© Roni Horn
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

Graphite and watercolor on paper
56.5 x 55.9 cm / 22 1/4 x 22 in
Photo: Ron Amstutz

Untitled (“Uncertainty is not chaos but rather the necessary habitat of the present tense.”)
Solid cast glass with as-cast surfaces
24.1 x 132.1 cm / 9 1/2 x 52 in
Photo: Tom Powel

Graphite and watercolor on paper
55.9 x 55.9 cm / 22 x 22 in
Photo: Ron Amstutz

Untitled (“Be careful Louis, very careful. Unhappiness is our own invention. At times I’m sad that I lack the imagination for it.”)
Solid cast glass with as-cast surfaces
24.1 x 132.1 cm / 9 1/2 x 52 in
Photo: Ron Amstutz


Leave a Comment