Time Space Discontinuum 2: Rita Ackermann at the Ludwig Museum

Returning to New York, I am always struck with a sense of nostalgia especially when walking around my old neighborhood of Little Italy and Soho where I had an apartment and studio for almost 10 years.  It is always interesting to think back to the old characters and spaces which are now just distant ghosts.  Before leaving Budapest a few weeks ago, I was able to catch the excellent show of Rita Ackermann at the Ludwig.  The press release for the show Bakos mentioned her active participation in the downtown nyc hipster scene after just arriving from Hungary in the early 1990s.  I do remember her distinct style as it was somewhat ubiquitous in the downtown environment I inhabited.  She had a large mural in the early electronic  lifestyle shop Liquid Sky that appeared a block away from my apartment on Lafayette St., her works could also be seen at Lower East Side dives such as Max Fish, as well as in the pages of Paper Magazine.  So it is amusing that as I consider Budapest’s seventh district to be much more like the Save the Robots downtown of the nineties than anything that  currently remains in Manhattan, Ackermann is once again very much apparent in my local art scene.  Her show at he Ludwig consists of many of the early works that in many ways epitomized the riot grrrl movement that was happening in underground music as well as guerilla girl art protest movement.  However, the mainstay of her show at the Ludwig consists of more recent mature works which appear to move away from a trashier street aesthetic as her Fire by Days series presents the viewer with large, sumptuous, cadmium laced works which seem to draw much more inspiration from the downtown NY of Pollack and Motherwell than Korine and Sevigny.  Overall it is wonderful that Budapesters get a chance to see a show of such breadth by a Hungarian artist who seems to have a much bigger name in New York than in her own country.

Ackermann Rita’s Bakos 2011 November 18 – March 11 at the Ludwig Museum

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