Galerie Suvi Lehtinen is pleased to present its first exhibition, MOUNTAINTOP REMOVAL by Berlin based artist Fox Hysen. For her first solo exhibition in Germany, Hysen has produced a series of paintings of everyday things chosen by a process of intuitively foraging through her immediate environment.
“Mountain Top Removal is a process of systematically removing layers off a mountain, starting from the top down in order to extract minerals. What I am actually interested in is how we can relate this to the history of painting.“
Hysen’s paintings are of flowers found growing on the sidewalk placed in regular drinking glasses, a running shoe, or a mobile phone. These are easily recognizable and at the same time forgettable, unremarkable objects, the things our material everyday reality is made of.
The choice to work with the subject matter of everyday objects is often made in order to critique (or to celebrate) the overt materialism of capitalist societies, or to question the value of the art object. In Hysen’s work the painterly aesthetic creates a sense of intimacy and attachment, and the things seem to gain a meaning beyond objects that are blindly consumed. Observation, immediacy, and presence are re-evaluated through a reinterpretation of still-life painting.
While the paintings create a contradiction between the triviality of the possessions and the representation of material wealth, they also engage with the problematics inherent in the representation of reality. Mountaintop Removal becomes a metaphor for the blurring perception of value in nature, and in the practice of representation.