June 23, 2019

Roni Horn @ Peder Lund, Oslo

Roni Horn
Peder Lund, Oslo
Through September 14, 2019

Peder Lund presents a new exhibition by the American artist RONI HORN (b. 1955). On display are a delicate gold sculpture and two series of drawings.

For more than thirty years, Roni Horn has worked with a wide range of media, ranging from photography, drawing, sculptural installations and performance, to artist’s books and text. Horn’s work concerns matters such as the mutable nature of identity and that of the natural world, as well as the relationship between subject and object in the perception of art and nature. Across the multidisciplinary formal approaches she has employed throughout her oeuvre, Roni Horn has remained focused and her concepts well-articulated. 

Installed at Peder Lund are four triptychs from her important series Dogs’ Chorus (2016).  In conjunction with the gallery exhibition in Oslo, the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston is currently exhibiting other works from this same series as part of the exhibition Roni Horn: When I Breathe, I Draw, Part II (June 7 – September 1, 2019).  Each drawing is based on the phrase “Let slip the dogs of war” from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar (1599) plus a familiar idiom, proverb or metaphor such as “Every Tom, Dick or Harry" or “From the frying pan into the fire.” The artist created each drawing by cutting apart her original drawings of texts and reassembling the fragments. Through Roni Horn’s delicate cut and paste technique the clichés fall apart; the failed communication that is the origin of every conflict explodes colorfully on the paper, transformed into comical and complex, watercolored bubbles of thoughts. Michelle White, the Senior Curator at the Menil Collection, explains that the artist describes her drawings as “a conversation with herself – that points to the mutability of meaning and identity.” 

How language and identity are intertwined is also the focus of the second series of drawings. The work Alias Frieze, v. 1 (2011) consists of 12 drawings in which the words “also known as” are repeated with variations in their order and coloring. The words are arranged in a straight line, causing the different sized frames in which they are presented to go slightly up and down, following symbolically the ever-changing personality that the viewer can associate with the presented pseudonym. 

The scupltural work on display, the gold Double Mobius, v. 2 (2009/2018), references of course, a Mobius strip, a geometrical form that despite appearing to have two sides, only has one. This work is a rare example from the artist’s oeuvre – Roni Horn has produced very few gold sculptures over the course of her long carrier. However, in contrast to her earlier works with this material, such as Gold Field (1980-82) and Paired Gold Mats, for Ross and Felix (1994-95), the two ribbons of thin gold foil comprising Double Mobius, v. 2 are placed at eye level, allowing the viewer to experience the mesmerizing, physical quality of this material up close. 

Roni Horn’s numerous solo exhibitions include shows organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (1990); Kunstmuseum Winterthur (1993); Kunsthalle Basel and Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (1995); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1999); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (2001); Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2003); and Art Institute of Chicago (2004). A major retrospective titled Roni Horn aka Roni Horn was organised by Tate Modern, London, and travelled to Collection Lambert, Avignon, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2009-10). Her work has been exhibited in several Reykjavik venues, as well as in group exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial (1991 and 2004); Documenta 9 (1992), Venice Biennale (1997 and 2003); and Biennale of Sydney (1998 and 2014). Horn has received various awards, among them a Ford Foundation grant (1978), and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1984, 1986, and 1990) and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (1990). In 2013, she was awarded the Joan Miró Prize. Horn’s work is featured in numerous major international institutions and collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Art Institute of Chicago; Tate Modern, London; Kunsthalle Hamburg; Kunsthaus Zürich; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Tjuvholmen allé 27, 0252 Oslo