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Thao Nguyen Phan: Dangerous Optimism Ocula Conversation Thao Nguyen Phan: Dangerous Optimism Tessa Moldan, Brussels

With Monsoon Melody on view at WIELS, Brussels, her largest solo exhibition to date, Thao Nguyen Phan discusses her transition to film to explore colonial legacies and ecological destruction in Vietnam.

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Los Angeles' art scene has a lot to offer during Frieze Los Angeles, with galleries, non-profits, and museums gearing up for the fair's second edition between 14 and 17 February 2020. In this Ocula Lowdown, Tessa Moldan lists a selection of the city's must-see shows.

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Jaki Irvine's Manifesto on Life at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin Ocula Insight Jaki Irvine's Manifesto on Life at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin Apoorva Rajagopal, Dublin

Ack Ro' , Jaki Irvine's reflection on the fragility of life at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, is an 'ambitious, holistic installation' staged like a 'wild disarray of interconnected yet fragmented pieces'.

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HomePage Artists

b. 1955, USA

Roni Horn Biography

From glass sculptures to photographic installations to works on paper and books, Roni Horn's practice has long explored a plethora of concerns, from the shifting nature of identity and its meaning, to the concept of doubling and the changeability of the weather.

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A native of New York, Horn graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1975 and travelled to Iceland. There, she was struck by the country's unpredictable weather and began photographing the landscapes. She returned to the United States and earned her MFA in sculpture from Yale University in 1978, but has been inspired by Iceland ever since. 'To Place', an ongoing book series that begun in the 1990s, thus far consists of ten volumes that examine Iceland's geography, geology and culture. Folds (1991), for example, focuses on the sheepfolds scattered throughout Iceland. Haraldsdóttir contains images lifted from Horn's photographic series 'You are the Weather' (1994–5), which is comprised of 100 close-ups of a model's face as she stands in water. Her facial expression is slightly different in each picture—a metaphor for Iceland's varieties of weather, light and water.

Similarly based on Iceland is Vatnasafn/Library of Water (2007), an installation of 24 glass columns inside a former library in Stykkishólmur. Horn started casting glass sculptures in the mid-1990s, creating often large and coloured cylinders; for Library of Water, she filled the pillars with melted ice gathered from 24 glaciers as a reminder of the human impact on the environment. The clear glass columns distort the view of the seascape outside while shedding light on the rubber floor, which is incised with words—in both Icelandic and English—related to the weather such as 'foul' and 'moist'. Intended as a site of private meditation as well as community gatherings, the building also holds collections revolving around language, water and weather reports, including recordings of Stykkishólmur and nearby residents discussing the weather.

Horn's fascination with the dynamic nature of weather is parallel to her interest in the multiplicity and mutability of identity, explored through her self-portraits in various media. In a 2009 article in W Magazine, for example, she described the stainless steel and copper balls in her 'Asphere' (1988) series as a form of self-portrait. Despite their initially spherical appearances, the balls have inexact dimensions that compel the viewer to look at them twice; Horn's representation of herself similarly attempts to resist straightforward identification. This was directly addressed in the photographic series 'aka' (2008–9), for which Horn arranged pictures of herself to convey her ever-changing identities, from a frizzy-haired youth to an androgynous and middle-aged individual. The transformations in some images were extreme to the point that it becomes difficult to recognise the subject as Horn. Inanimate objects stood in for the artist in the 'self-portraits' that comprised 'The Selected Gifts, 1974–2015' (2015–16)—a photographic series that portrayed Horn through the gifts that she had received over the course of four decades, from letters and books to a stuffed swan and Flintstone figurines.

Drawing is also an indispensable aspect of Horn's practice. Her drawings often resemble elements of nature, such as clouds dropping rain in Yet 3 (2013–17), or organs, such as the kidney-like form in Or 1 (2014), or the brain in Such 6 (2014). In addition to graphite, Horn employs materials as diverse as powdered pigment, ink, charcoal and watercolour. Her 'Hack Wit' (2013–15) series works began as watercolour drawings of idiomatic expressions that she cut apart—paper included—and reassembled to create one nonsensical sentence. In Hack Witrainbow oblivion (2014), for example, the phrases 'consign to oblivion' and 'chasing rainbows' become 'consign the rainbow to chasing oblivion' while Hack Witaching cheap (2014) reads, 'A cheap suit all over me like an aching void'.

Selected solo exhibitions include Roni Horn. PI, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2018); Remembered Words, Kukje Gallery, Seoul (2018); The Selected Gifts, (1974–2015), Rat Hole Gallery, Tokyo (2017); Roni Horn, Hauser & Wirth, New York (2017); and Roni Horn, Fondation Beyeler, Basel (2016). In 2009, the Whitney Museum of American Art and Tate Modern organised a retrospective of her work titled Roni Horn aka Roni Horn that travelled to Collection Lambert, Avignon, and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.

Horn lives and works in New York and Reykjavik.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019

Exhibition view: Group Exhibition, Winterreise, Xavier Hufkens, 6 rue St-Georges, Brussels (22 January–29 February 2020). Courtesy the Artists and Xavier Hufkens, Brussels. Photo: Allard Bovenberg. 

Roni Horn Featured Artworks

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White Dickinson, A BLOSSOM PERHAPS IS AN INTRODUCTION, TO WHOM-NONE CAN INFER- by Roni Horn contemporary artwork
Roni HornWhite Dickinson, A BLOSSOM PERHAPS IS AN INTRODUCTION, TO WHOM-NONE CAN INFER-, 2006–2007Solid aluminium and cast white plastic
313.7 x 5.1 x 5.1 cm
Xavier Hufkens Enquire about this work
Untitled (“[Ibsen] had a mirror in his top hat. So he sat in his cafe surreptitiously staring at himself.”) by Roni Horn contemporary artwork
Roni HornUntitled (“[Ibsen] had a mirror in his top hat. So he sat in his cafe surreptitiously staring at himself.”), 2013–2017Solid cast glass with as-cast surfaces with oculus
50.8 x 91.4 x 91.4 cm
Xavier Hufkens Enquire about this work
Pair Object Vis: For Two Locations in One Place by Roni Horn contemporary artwork
Roni HornPair Object Vis: For Two Locations in One Place, 1988/2007Solid forged and machined OFHC Copper
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work
Remembered Words—(Orally) by Roni Horn contemporary artwork
Roni HornRemembered Words—(Orally), 2012-2013Watercolour, graphite, and gum arabic on paper
Kukje Gallery Enquire about this work
Yet 5 by Roni Horn contemporary artwork
Roni HornYet 5, 2013/2017Powdered pigment, graphite, charcoal, coloured pencil and varnish on paper
246.4 x 325.1 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work
Yet 3 by Roni Horn contemporary artwork
Roni HornYet 3, 2013/2017Powdered pigment, graphite, charcoal, coloured pencil and varnish on paper
298.5 x 259.1 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work
Black Asphere by Roni Horn contemporary artwork
Roni HornBlack Asphere, 1988/2006Solid copper, glass shot peened and patinated
30.5 x 32 cm
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work
The Selected Gifts, (1974–2015) by Roni Horn contemporary artwork
Roni HornThe Selected Gifts, (1974–2015), 2015–2016Ink jet prints on Hahnemuehle paper, 67 parts
Hauser & Wirth Enquire about this work

Roni Horn Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Winterreise at Xavier Hufkens, Brussels
Open Now
22 January–29 February 2020 Group Exhibition Winterreise Xavier Hufkens, 6 rue St-Georges, Brussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Roni Horn, Roni Horn at Hauser & Wirth, Hong Kong
Closed
27 November 2018–2 March 2019 Roni Horn Hauser & Wirth, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich
Closed
17 November–21 December 2018 Group Exhibition Tables, Carpets & Dead Flowers Hauser & Wirth, Zürich

Roni Horn Represented By

Roni Horn In Related Press

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Roni Horn talks remote control in her upstate New York retreat Related Press Roni Horn talks remote control in her upstate New York retreat 27 June 2019, Wallpaper*

To get to Roni Horn's home and studio in upstate New York, you drive through farm villages, past horses grazing on meadows, and after a few turns, reach a gate leading to a rugged dirt road. Even on a balmy spring day, the road is covered in a layer of ice. It's a long, winding ascent until you reach another turn, passing by two seal-brown...

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Roni Horn draws attention with first museum exhibition at Menil Drawing Institute Related Press Roni Horn draws attention with first museum exhibition at Menil Drawing Institute 7 March 2019, Houston Chrronicle

'You got some good questions for me?' Hard to say if Roni Horn was being friendly, impatient or intimidating. She exudes classic New York directness, which some might see as abrupt. She had a head cold, and she was fighting sneezes. One of America's sharpest-minded artists of the past 30 years, Horn has made important photo books, sculpture...

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‘REVIEW: RONI HORN, WHEN I BREATHE I DRAW PART I’ AT MENIL DRAWING INSTITUTE Related Press ‘REVIEW: RONI HORN, WHEN I BREATHE I DRAW PART I’ AT MENIL DRAWING INSTITUTE 4 March 2019, Arts and Culture Texas

There is something about the gauzy lighting at the Menil Drawing Institute that makes me mistrust my eye. A scrim seems to hang in the air, making the walk toward Roni Horn's drawings especially dreamy, at once hazy and hushed. This magical approach creates the effect of an unfolding: each drawing emerges gradually, in all its inexplicable and...

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Art that makes you do a double take: Roni Horn’s mesmerising sculptures in Hong Kong Related Press Art that makes you do a double take: Roni Horn’s mesmerising sculptures in Hong Kong 4 December 2018, South China Morning Post

American artist Roni Horn has something akin to an illusionist's ability to make you do a double take, stand still and figure out what it is you are actually seeing, which is quite a feat in an age of mass attention deficiency. It's something evident in her new show in Hong Kong, a survey of her work that spans four decades. The works on display...

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