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Rita Ackermann (Hungarian, b.1968)
LOT ID: 78623
What Did You Do Today?, 1994

Pastel, on paper
18 х 24 in. (45.72 x 60.96 cm.)
Signed, verso, not viewed out of frame
Lot description
In the early 1990s, Rita Ackermann became known for her sketchbook-like compositions featuring half-dressed women. Reflecting a generation responding to identity politics, Ackermann fashioned nymph-like, ageless female characters generated through fairy tale imagery mixed with semblances of today’s fashionable young women. Representative of Ackermann’s early stylistic lexicon, this 1994 work on paper presents a harem-like scene, with three female figures lounging in various stages of undress. As if ripped from a coloring book, the simply rendered interior space is loosely colored in with pastel, drawing greater focus to the girls, whose passivity ironizes the picture’s overarching question, “What Did You Do Today?”

Hungarian-American artist, musician and curator, Rita Ackermann (b. 1968) explores fantasies and fetishes of social and gender roles as reflected in the seemingly glamorous culture of 1990s New York. Her representations of provocative and youthful female figures, often produced through collage or drawing, question traditional painting approaches while also reflecting on contemporary identity. Ackermann studied at the University of Fine Arts Budapest from 1989 to 1992 before moving to New York to study at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. In 2012, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, FL organized a mid-career retrospective of Ackermann’s work. Her work has also been featured in recent solo shows at Hauser & Wirth, London, England (2012); Ludwig Múzeum, Budapest, Hungary (2011); The Journal Gallery, Brooklyn, NY (2011); Le Confort Moderne, Poitiers, France (2010); Rebecca Camhi Gallery, Athens, Greece (2010); Peter Kilchmann Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland (2009); and Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, NY (2008).
What Did You Do Today? by Rita Ackermann
  • What Did You Do Today? by Rita Ackermann
  • What Did You Do Today? by Rita Ackermann
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