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Roni Horn

Wits’ End Mash

October 2, 2021 - November 27, 2021

Peder Lund is proud to present a new exhibition by the American artist Roni Horn (1955- ). On display are six fascinating drawings and a fantastic glass sculpture. The exhibition will be on view from October 2 through November 27, 2021. An opening reception will be held on October 2 from 12-16 pm.

For more than 40 years, Roni Horn (1955- ) 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 embodies matters such as the mutable nature of identity and that of the natural world and the relationship between subject and object in the perception of art and nature. Across the multidisciplinary formal approaches, she has employed throughout her oeuvre, Horn has remained focused and her subject matters well articulated.

Presented at Peder Lund are six works on paper from Horn’s important series Wits’ End Mash (2019). These works are comprised of 75-350 idioms and clichés hand-written by different individuals who were asked to write down their favorite idiomatic expressions. Phrases like “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” “swimming with the fishes” or “lose my head” were then selected by the artist and the original handwritten texts were individually silkscreened on paper into unique clouds of words. Previously, a related body of work, Wits’ End Sampler (2018), was presented at the Menil Drawing Institute in Houston, TX, USA in 2018/2019. As the curator, Michelle White analyses, the artist’s work “marks moments when language fails and connotation migrates, or when dictionaries and indexes and libraries of water don’t work as empirical fact.”

Another body of work by the artist that challenges the notion of classification is of course her renowned glass sculptures since glass is neither liquid nor solid, but an amorphous liquid-solid that exists between those two states of matter, with atoms moving too slowly for its condition of constant change to be visible. By virtue of this extraordinary duality, glass is an ideal medium for Horn’s exploration of the shifting grounds of meaning and identity. At display at Peder Lund is the mesmerizing sculptural work, Untitled (“And Chikatilo?’ I ask him.”What was your moment of breakthrough?’ A half lowering of the heavy eyelids, a small sigh. ‘The reek of his breath,’ he replies, after a long pull at his cigarette. ‘Chikatilo ate the private parts of his victims. Over time it effected his digestion.’”), (2013-17). The title quote for this work comes from The Pigeon Tunnel (2016) which comprises a collection of memoirs by the British-Irish novelist John le Carré.

This glass sculpture is a prime example from the artist’s oeuvre – similar works are for example held by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA, Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, Netherlands,  Fondation Beyeler, Riehen, Switzerland, Tate Modern, London, UK, and LACMA, Los Angeles, CA, USA. On 30 September 2021, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration will be opening a new Scenic Route installation by Horn in Havøysund, Northern Norway. The permanent art installation Untitled (“I hated the mountains and the hills, the rivers and the rain. I hated the sunsets of whatever colour, I hated its beauty and its magic and the secret I would never know. I hated its indifference and the cruelty which was part of its loveliness.”), consists of two glass objects from 2013-15, presented in a wooden Pavilion designed by architect Jan Olav Jensen in collaboration with Roni Horn, completed in 2021.

Horn’s numerous solo exhibitions include shows organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, USA  (1990); Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Winterthur, Germany (1993); Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland (1995); Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover, Germany (1995); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France (1999); Dia Center for the Arts, New York , NY, USA (2001); Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (2003); and Art Institute of Chicago, IL, USA (2004). A major retrospective titled Roni Horn aka Roni Horn was organized by Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom, and traveled to Collection Lambert, Avignon, France; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA; and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, USA (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 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA; The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA; Tate, London, United Kingdom; Kunsthalle Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland; and Centre Pompidou, Paris, France.