Nanna Hänninen | “Plants/Objects/Trees/People//PAINT” | PHE | 5 June – 28 July 2012

This new project is unique in Hänninen’s corpus of work as it unifies photography and painting through the abstract and the figurative respectively, with this conceptual approach being one of the most original features of this series. In addition, she establishes a parallel relationship between realms so close, but so visually diverse, as colour and blackand-white.

The artist’s worries about the present environmental situation that our society is facing constitutes the background for the ideas that she develops, not only from the social point of view but also the political. The artworks which depict people are nothing but a symbol of our individual alienation and of our connection -maybe lost- with nature and its beauty.

Hänninen’s idea of challenging the classical thesis of photography as evidence of reality has been a constant throughout her career. Moreover in this series she utilises an extraordinarily rich dialectic of opposites which confronts photography and painting, colour and black-and-white, figurative and abstract, truth and falsehood…

Hänninen employs a work methodology which is conceptual and minimal at the same time: through digital processing, colour values are removed from the original colour photographs of the subject so that the now black-and-white photographs serve as the base to develop the paintings. Using the RAL colour system, the original colour values are calculated then mixed together using of acrylic paint which is next applied to the prints. The artist uses the technique of “overpainting” as a deliberate strategy of veiling/unveiling, making visible some parts of the black-and-white photographs while others are covered by paint. Curiously, the final artwork is not the painted photograph but a photograph taken of it at the studio.

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