2008-01-30 until 2008-04-12
New York, NY
Scandinavia House presents recent work by four of Finland’s most prominent and critically acclaimed artists: photographer and video artist Elina Brotherus, sculptor Markus Kahre, painter Elina Merenmies, and painter Anna Tuori. Ranging from sculpture and installation to painting and photography, the works on view provide fascinating insights into the contemporary Finnish art world. The four artists were finalists for the 2007 Ars Fennica Prize, Finland’s most prestigious visual arts award, which has been awarded annually by The Henna and Pertti Niemisto Art Foundation since 1991. Candidates are nominated by an award panel appointed by the Foundation, and the winning candidate is chosen by an international contemporary art expert.
Ms. Brotherus’s serial photographs of landscapes and figures are like a series of songs or a book of preludes, resisting the temptation to impose a narrative as each image makes the others resonate. Mr. Kåhre’s installations disorient and disrupt supposedly self-evident assumptions about the ways in which we perceive ourselves in the world, calling into question our ability to see, feel, and understand. The powerfully symbolic, dreamlike forms in Ms. Merenmies’s ink wash works and paintings evoke trees, veins or nerve pathways, and faces. Both beautiful and macabre, Ms. Tuori’s darkly warped and joyfully out-of-joint oil paintings reveal the dark side of romanticism, encompassing both agonized ecstasy and violent pleasure as they reject clarity and symmetry in favor of ambivalence and fragmentation.
This 2007 Ars Fennica Prize winner, Mr. Kåhre, was chosen by Glenn Scott Wright, co-director of London’s Victoria Miro Gallery.