Rita Ackermann


Rita Ackermann, Mama, Yves’s Mask, 2021, Acrylic, oil, pigments and china marker on canvas. Daniel Xu and Flora Huang Collection ©Rita Ackermann. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: François Fernandez

Curated by Tobia Bezzola, director of MASI Lugano, with Chiara Ottavi, assistant curator.

Rita Ackermann’s exhibition titled ‘Hidden’ will focus on a selection of recent paintings in relation to the artist’s early works from the 1990s, encompassing nearly fifty paintings and drawings developed over the past 30 years in New York City. The exhibition will be accompanied by a bilingual catalogue published by MOUSSE Publishing.

Rita Ackermann was born in 1968 in Budapest, Hungary and lives and works in New York City. She studied at the University of Fine Arts in Budapest and The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture from the years of 1989 to 1992.

Ackermann invented images that became instant sensations, perturbing young girls that are now part of the universe of global imagery. Her drawings and paintings between 1993-95 (which will be included in the exhibition “Hidden”) depict compositions of adolescent female figures of clonelike multiples engaging in various self-destructive and hazardous activities. Her early works with their ambiguous presence serve as bridges between high and low culture, just as the myths and folk tales which often serve as merits to Ackermann’s compositions.

Twenty years later she would abandon the figure, erasing the very matter of her own work. In her ‘Mama’ series, a complex layering of visual language oscillates between abstraction and figuration into a subconscious unfolding of form—concealed deeply in the abstraction of the omnipresence. In early 2022 Ackermann began her latest series of paintings titled, ‘War Drawings’. Oil, china maker and acrylic are heavily worked into the surface of raw linen. Figures are lost, lines are scraped away to reveal shattered compositions. Each of the paintings subjugated by disaster as a purifying element for inevitable harmony.

  • LAC venue

  • Piazza Bernardino Luini 6, 6900 Lugano
  • Tue / Wed / Fri: 11 am – 6 pm
    Thurs: 11 am – 8 pm
    Sat / Sun / Public Holidays: 10 am – 6 pm
    Mon: closed


  • Su 19.03
  • Venue LAC, free guided tour (in Italian)
    Rita Ackermann. Hidden