American artist Roni Horn (b.1955) is revered around the globe for the understated force of her beautifully composed works of art. She has concentrated on a small, highly personal selection of subjects. For instance, the tradition of Minimalist sculpture and our response to it is transferred with great sensitivity into her artwork. Asphere III, for example, looks like a solid copper sphere: in fact it is slightly distorted and thus asymmetrical. Horn frustrates our notions of contemporary sculpture, sharpening our awareness of experiencing the work and offering a heightened sense of environment and presence in the world.
Horn's care for detail and poetic subtlety have made her one of the world's most respected artists. Her use of poetry - such as William Blake's Tyger, Tyger or works by Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens - contradict the mass-produced look of the sculptures. One work, You Are the Weather (1994-5) involves numerous photographs of a young woman in the hot springs of Iceland. In this series of many nearly identical portraits with slight, barely perceptible differences in natural lighting, Horn mimics the serialization of Minimalist art for highly personal, even erotic imagery.
Independent curator and editor Louise Neri examines in her Survey the intricate themes and structures of Horn's complex body of work, which never the less retains its simplicity and directness. New-York-based curator Lynne Cooke discusses with the artist the recurring conceptual concerns across different media. Belgian art theorist Theirry de Duve focusses on the enigma of identity in the photographic installation You Are the Weather (1994-5), a series of 100 nearly identically composed portraits of a young woman bathing in Iceland, which reveal varying locations, emotions and atmospheric conditions to the attentive viewer. The artist has selected a short extract from the story 'The Apple in the Dark' (1967) by the Jewish Ukranian-born Brazilian novelist Clarice Lispector (1920-77). For Lispector, as for Horn, intense attention to objects and places is combined with a careful study of the role of language in perception. This volume contains the most comprehensive collection yet published of Roni Horn's eloquent writing on her own work and its influences.