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 Roni Horn  (1955 - )

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Lived/Active: Michigan      Known for: sculptor, non objective painter

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Ad Code: 2
Roni Horn
from Auction House Records.
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Roni Horn was born in 1955 in New York, earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA from Yale University in 1978.  She teaches at the Columbia University School of the Arts and lives and works in New York City.  Her sculptures, installations, and photographs have been exhibited throughout the world.  One of her more spectacular projects is her installation in 2007 in Stykkisholmur, a small town on the west coast of Iceland.  There, at a lighthouse, she has created Vatnasafn/Library of Water, which is "twenty-four glass pillars filled with melted ice of twenty-four glaciers from all over Iceland, scattered across an otherwise empty room.  The installation is very spare.  Each column is subtly lit from above and appers to emanate light from within." (Fer, 173)  Weather-related words in English and Icelandic are cut into a flooring, symbolic that an emotional climate is shared in both worlds.

Horn has been a frequent visitor to Iceland since the 1970s, and has done a number of community-related projects.  Of the country's name, she says: "Iceland is a verb and its action is to center." (Fer, 174)

She has also had solo exhibitions in museum settings such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2000); Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1999); De Pont Foundation for Contemporary Art, Tilburg, the Netherlands (1998; 1994); Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (1996); Kunsthalle Basel (1995); Baltimore Museum of Art (1994); Kunstmuseum Basel (1997; 1995); New Museum for Living Art, Reykjavik (1992); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1990), and elsewhere. She has exhibited at the Venice Biennale (1997); Documenta IX (1992), and the 1991 Whitney Biennial.  Since 1989, Horn's Things That Happen Again (1986) has been on long-term exhibition at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.  She is a participant in the Thames and Hudson Rivers Project, sponsored by Minetta Brook (New York) and the Public Art Development Trust (London).

Photography books include the seven-volume project To Place, consisting of: Bluff Life (1990), Folds (1991), Lava (1992), Pooling Waters (1994), Verne's Journey (1995), Haraldsdottir (1996), and Arctic Circles (1998).

Horn photographed the River Thames in London, "exploring the theme of water as an ever-present, life-creating spiritual and physiological force that influences every undercurrent of our existence."  Placing selected text with 47 full color, double-page spreads of the river's ever-changing surface, Horn has inserted footnotes that reference poems, short stories, records of dark and light events that took place in the river or on its shores, as well as the artist's own poetic reflections. Dead Body Reports, collected from the logs of Scotland Yard, are also placed throughout the book, telling incredible and sometimes shocking stories of suicides and accidents whose secrets the River Thames will never fully reveal to us.

DIA Center for the Arts
Briony Fer, On Roni Horn's Vatnasafn/Library of Water, ARTFORUM, Summer, 2007

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