#insight | Art World





Artist of the week



#MACFOCUS is the new column of the Milano Art Community offering insights on the most interesting contemporary art galleries, foundations, and nonprofit spaces in Milan and on the work of their artists.


This column is inaugurated by Roni Horn, an American artist who for the past forty years has been exploring the changing nature of art through sculpture, works on paper, photography and books. She is the second protagonist of the program of Aedicula Raffaella Cortese, the space recently opened by the gallery owner in Albisola Superiore.


Right here, a stone's throw from the Ligurian sea and the Sansobbia stream, at 6 pm each evening a light turns on and passerby are invited to stop and listen to Saying Water: a story by Roni Horn around to suggestions and reflections on water.




Saying Water belongs to a body of work which, in its entirety, constitutes a true ode to water, an intense and personal investigation through its many contents, meanings, and metaphors. As a complex, changeable element on which life depends, water determines the weather conditions in which we live, it is the substance that makes up the majority of our body and, at the same time, has a fundamental impact on identity and imagination. As the artist writes, “We cannot talk about water without talking about ourselves”


Roni Horn began collecting the reflections on water we hear in Saying Water in the 1990s. They are phrases conceived by the artist herself or quotations of various kinds – for example, from the poems of Emily Dickinson, from a novel by William Faulkner, from a film by Michelangelo Antonioni, and from the songs of Aretha Franklin. We also find them in another fundamental, earlier work, the suite of fifteen photographs Still Water (The River Thames, for Example) (1997-1999).



Each image depicts a small portion of the surface of the Thames, all characterized by different colors and light, by the water’s particular ripples. As we get closer, we enter a second, deeper level and recognize a series of small numbers on the surface of the river. In each print, the numerical characters direct our gaze towards the lower margin, which is populated by a number of footnotes.


Roni Horn has had solo exhibitions in the following museums: Pola Museum of Art, Hakone, Japan (2021), Château La Coste, Aix-en-Provence, France (2021); The Drawing Institute at the Menil Collection (2019); Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas (2017); Glenstone, Potomac, United States (2017); Fondation Beyeler, Riehen / Basel, Switzerland (2016); Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona (2014); FLAG Art Foundation, New York (2011); Center of Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2010); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2009); Rencontres d’Arles festival, Arles, France (2009); Tate Modern, London (2009); Tate Modern, London and Collection Lambert, Avignon (2008); Museion, Bolzano (2005), Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2004); Center Georges Pompidou, Paris (2003); Dia Center for the Arts, New York, and Museu Serralves, Porto (2001); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (1995). Group shows include: Whitney Biennial (1991, 2004); Documenta (1992); and the Venice Biennale (1997), among many others.


In 2004 she was a guest of Columbia University. In November 2009, the Whitney Museum of American Art inaugurated a survey exhibition on Horn’s work, entitled: “Roni Horn aka Roni Horn”; the exhibition has traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston (2010), the Tate Modern, London (25 February - 25 May 2009), and the Collection Lambertad Avignon (21 June - 4 October 2009).





For more info Aedicula Raffaella Cortese