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© Courtesy of the artist & carlier | gebauer

Markgrafenstraße 67
D-10969 Berlin
April 27th, 2013 - June 1st, 2013
Opening: April 26th, 2013 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

+49 (0)
Tue-Sat 11-6
construction of painted paper


Glued, cut, drawn and painted. The works of Finnish artist Kirsi Mikkola are
the product of a long and intensive process that bonds various different
artistic techniques. She shows no inhibition in working, changing, painting
over and cutting up the surface. This zestful way of tackling the artistic
material goes hand in hand with sets of small shapes chosen with great
sensitivity. She makes use of painted strips of paper just as she includes
pages from calendars or notepaper, and these items all try and seize our
attention. If one studies Qumquat, one of her new pieces, then it is hard to
focus clearly. At first sight, the colors and shapes almost jump out at you,
trying to grab your eye. The eye gets lost between ultramarine and caput
mortuum and then starts exploring the lower spheres. The layerings are typical
of Mikkola, as she likes to use surfaces to cover over shapes and create new
settings. In this way, a three-dimensional work arises that functions like a
vortex on the eye. Mikkola rightly wishes her works to be regarded as
“construction of painted paper” and refuses to label them as collages. The
notion of structure refers to the architecture and thus to the process of
planning and construction. Geometrical elements alternate with over-paintings
and indefinably positioned color fields. The choice of color range is as
surprising as it is unusual, especially as the composition of each picture is
emphatically determined by the intensity and choice of color. Mikkola does not
shy away from dirty colors, such as muddy browns, and gives them their rightful
place alongside a radiant neon green, for example. Precisely in this way,
symbioses and contrasts arise that create great tension and dominate the
surface, ensuring the eye never tires of looking. In terms of the dramatics of
each piece, there is no customary pattern, and the eye is constantly being
challenged anew.
One story provided any manner of ideas for Qumquat, and the emotions the artist
felt have been transposed into painting across a pictorial expanse of almost
three by three meters. For the viewer, there is only the title of the piece to
go by, and any search for customary shapes will be in vain. What is called for
is imagination, as any desire to find linguistic counterparts will remain
unsatisfied. Instead, the image offers you a view of unknown terrain – of space
that can be constantly rediscovered with each repeated viewing.
Kirsi Mikkola’s works last went on display at CentrePasquArt in Biel,
Switzerland. As part of the exhibition, an extensive catalog was published; it
contains a complete list of all the artist’s works.