Johanna Ehrnrooth: Japonisme Gone Wild
Galerie Forsblom, March 23 – April 22, 2018
Opening with the artist in attendance, March 22, 2018, 5–7 PM
Johanna Ehrnrooth’s (b. 1958) works are like a maze of mirror images and prism-like reflections. In her exhibition, she continues exploring the theme of seeing. Her collage-like double-sided screen panels and two-dimensional works on paper mix together representational elements with total abstraction. Viewed up close, certain details stand out, each telling a sensual narrative that carries over to the other side of the canvas. The act of circling the double-sided screen is like looking in a mirror – like mirrors, Ehrnrooth’s screens offer a glimpse into a world that seems foreign and magical.
Ehrnrooth is intrigued by the time-freezing illusion of painting. Her playful, vigorous lines capture a vivid sense of movement in her portrayals of figures dressed in traditional Japanese garments and hair accessories. Weaving together the past and the present, her paintings call into question the linear notion of time that prevails in western society.
Ehrnrooth experiments with acrylics in her most recent paintings: exuding Japanese influences, the intense reds and oranges are combined with thick, black outlines and luminous whites. Her works are inspired by the organic forms, and seemingly random compositions of Japanese screens, bringing to life the aesthetic sensibilities of eastern mysticism.
A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Ehrnrooth was a contender for the Ars Fennica prize in 2001. Her work is found in major public collections including the Amos Anderson Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, and the Saastamoinen Foundation. The artist is based in Helsinki.