A native of Hungary, Rita Ackermann moved to New York City in the mid-1990s, arriving to find a culture— and art world—in transition. Rave and zine culture was in full swing; collaborations between artists, musicians, and magazine and book publishers were pervasive; and the age of the Internet was upon us. Within a few short months, Ackermann received widespread attention for her work, particularly a group of canvases populated with figures inspired by the cult German film We Children from Bahnhof Zoo about the heroin subculture of the 1970s. Her work forged a new visual language: paintings, drawings, and collages which telescoped between a virtuoso—and sometimes brutalistic—expressionism and taut, precise figurative drawing. Ackermann’s work explores the paradoxical relationship between fragility and violence, as she derives inspiration from literature, film, philosophy, and popular culture.
If there is one band that I associate with the art world it would have to be Sonic Youth. Over the last 30 years the band has collaborated with such blue chip artists such as Mike Kelley, John Cage, Yoko Ono, and Christian Marclay. So it’s no surprise that Kim Gordon, one of Sonic Youth’s founding members has just released a book of paintings and photographs with Rizzoli Books and Nieves Titled “Performing/Guzzling.”
Performing/Guzzling functions more as a hard bound artist journal than a monograph filled with page after page of Gordon’s ghost like watercolors, text paintings, lyrics/poetry, and photography. The watercolor works are by far the most accomplished, inspired by on-stage performances where the faces in the audience become a dreamy and ethereal blur of color.
The first printing of the book will be in a limited edition of 3,000 copies, with each containing a signed print by Kim Gordon. Performing/Guzzling is a must have book for both artist book enthusiasts and Sonic Youth fans alike!