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In Need of a Guardian

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Galerie Anhava, Helsinki, Finland, 7 September – 1 October 2017

Anne Koskinen (born 1969 in Helsinki) is an artist employing a wide range of techniques, whose approach merges the German tradition of visual art with strong personal reflection.

Her solo exhibition In Need of a Guardian brings to Galerie Anhava a group of natural stone sculptures aiming at the figure of a child and light-coloured, almost immaterial drawings on paper of young women resembling each other on the threshold of adulthood with floral decorations on their heads, as if they were leaving for a party.

Addressing the thematic of care and achieving maturity, the artist drew the images of the girls in her childhood home, where she moved after the death of her mother and where she had last lived as a teenager. A conceptual model for the works can be found in the drawings that teenage girls make on the margins of pages in books or on the inside covers of notebooks. Drawn with gold, silver and bronze pencil, the drawings are imaginary pictures based on memory: they follow no real examples and are based instead on the artist’s earlier observations. Koskinen describes her memory-based working process as ‘the shortening of reality’, where unnecessary visual noise has been filtered. She is interested in a reduced drawn image that invites viewers to consider the artist’s choices and motivation. Why was this particular image made? Why does the image disappear from this part? Why does the artist draw with a gold pencil? Resembling each other, the subjects could be siblings or cousins and they invite the viewer to look for minor differences in facial expressions and gestures. At the same time, the drawings on paper enter into an almost Madonna-like connection with the stone sculptures in the same space.

Alongside the works on paper, there will also a group of figures of sculpted natural stone on show. Koskinen sculpted a rabbit-ear hat for one of them, and for another one she has ‘drawn’ stone hair. The precision of the works on paper is repeated in the soft feel of the sculpted faces, while the rest of the piece is of unworked natural stone. In her work, Koskinen is particularly interested in the possibilities associated with the process of an image coming into being. How little is enough in a drawing or piece of sculpture for the viewer to perceive the brim of a soft hat, the line of the neck of the shape of the body? These works are a continuation of Koskinen’s “Findling” series, which she has worked on since 2012 and in which the artist is fascinated by the relationship of image and matter – how an abstract, invisible concept and a visible, concrete and sensory image are connected to each other.

On display in the basement at Galerie Anhava will be stone sculptures of Koskinen’s Guardians series. Sculpted in candlelight, the figures can be viewed in either candlelight or ambient light. ‘In a sense, I sculpted light,’ says Koskinen.

Anne Koskinen has studied at the Karlsruhe Academy of Art and the University of Freiburg in Germany, and in Finland at the University of Art and Design Helsinki (present-day Aalto University) and the University of Helsinki. In recent years, she has participated in group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Helsinki (2017), the Rovaniemi Art Museum (2015 –2016), Schloss Agathenburg in Germany (2015) and the gallery of the Royal British Society of Sculptors in London (2015), among other venues. In 2016, Koskinen made ’The Apple of a Nuclear Physicist’ upon commission from the Finnish State Art Commission. This work is located outside the VTT Centre for Nuclear Safety in Otaniemi, Espoo, Finland.

Hanna Huitu

The artist can be met at Galerie Anhava at 2 p.m. on Sunday, 24 September.

Anne Koskinen will light the candles of the Guardian pieces in the basement of Galerie Anhava at 2 p.m. on Sunday, 10 September, 24 September and 1 October.

Further information Galerie Anhava