Rita Ackermann (b. 1968, Budapest) is a Hungarian-American painter renowned for subject matter that challenges traditional depictions of the female body. Ackermann draws inspiration from literature, film, and philosophy that reflect her experiences as a young European émigré. Working often in large-scale, energetic multi-media abstractions, the artist creates erotic depictions of feral pubescent figures whose convulsive energy subvert conventional feminine iconography.
From 2006 to 2008, Ackermann experimented with collage, sandwiching layers of fabric, spray paint, paper, ink, tempera and other materials between Plexiglas sheets. The results compressed her compositions while expanding the medium into a three dimensions. A freestanding collage, Firecrotch depicts a larger-than-life, totemic female figure. A wide-eyed feminine form, inspired by the drawings of the artist’s young daughter, wears pigtails of bright orange yarn that transform into a pair of aggressive and threatening talons. Two pasted clippings of hands bearing arms are superimposed over the center of the picture: one hand draws, or hides a gun into the waistband of a pair of white jeans; another set of hands aims a revolver at the viewer. Expressionistic and material, Firecrotch portrays the complicated role of women and society through a confrontational gaze.
Firecrotch was included in “Rita Ackermann,” a major survey exhibition on the artist’s life and work at MOCA North Miami (March 15 – May 6, 2012). Ackermann has exhibited internationally at major institutions including the New Museum, New York; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Kunsthalle Zurich; Zurich; Whitney Museum of Art, New York; and Museum Ludwig, Cologne; among others.
Ackermann currently lives and works in New York.