Opening reception with the artist
Thursday, 31 March 2011
7 - 9 p.m.
In our first exhibition of Finnish artist Anni Leppälä, we are showing an installation of photographic works. Her way of integrating chronologically divergent images and combining different, mainly small formats is typical for the artist. Anni Leppälä, born in Helsinki in 1981, was awarded last year’s Finnish Young Artist of the Year art prize. Her works feature mostly young women or northern landscapes. Her pictures capture the special qualities of a place, particular atmospheres, or lighting situations; the scenes seem familiar, yet puzzling at the same time. Her photographs are fixed points in the river of time.
Figures are shown in undefined interiors, their faces turned away and hidden behind their own hands or masks, mysterious in their inwardly directed, reserved aura. At times, they can hardly be discerned behind dense fields of wheat or bushes, while at other times they are lost in the light and shadow of infinite forests. The stillness and melancholy unique to the north is articulated in many of Leppälä’s nature photographs. Her images belong to a space that lies in between the visually perceptible world and a kind of mythical zone behind it. Her scenarios allow us a mere glimpse of events. By focusing on a single detail or gesture, she opens up her pictures to the viewer’s own interpretation.
Anni Leppälä studied photography at the famous University for Art and Design in Helsinki, and is a member of the Helsinki School, a group of young Finnish fine arts photographers. In 2010 the Tampere Art Museum in Helsinki presented the first comprehensive museum exhibition of her work. This year, she had solo shows at the Fondation d'entreprise Hermès in Bern, Switzerland, and at the Finnish Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2011 Leppälä’s works will be seen as part of an exhibition at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Fundación Caja in Madrid, Spain. Her work was seen at the Photo Biennial in Daegu, South Korea, 2010, and in group shows at the Rogaland Art Museum, Stavanger, Norway, 2010 and the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Germany, 2009. She is the 2011 winner of Finland’s Young Artist of the Year Award, and has received a grant from the Art Council of Finland, the City of Helsinki, and the Finnish Cultural Foundation.