Anita Naukkarinen’s (b. 1986) oil paintings combine playfully darting lines with expansive color planes resembling the translucent fluidity of watercolors, although her abstract compositions actually take their cue from real, concrete forms. Once she finds an inspiring form, she begins to tease out a narrative and idiosyncratic rhythm. Rather than revealing her real-world sources, Naukkarinen underlines the importance of each viewer’s individual encounter and dialogue with her paintings. The artist’s personal story is embedded in her paintings on multiple levels, and this intimate element unfolds to each viewer in a slightly different way.
The exhibition consists of three monumental canvases that are so imposing as to come across as downright aggressive in the small gallery space. This was the artist’s expressed intention – she wanted to create an ensemble of works that impose, as if intruding on our personal space. The contrast between the intimate space and the intimidating canvases is intriguing and thought-provoking. There is a striking contrast between the cheerful palette of pastel hues, the dynamic, rhythmic composition and the bold brushwork. The paintings are executed entirely in oils, but they are closely akin to watercolors in appearance, adding a sense of lightness and delicacy to the final result.
Naukkarinen enjoys painting in large scale, as it enables her to immerse herself in the corporeality that lies at the heart of painting. Body memory and physical experience acquire more proper dimensions when painted on a truly enormous canvas, with the rhythm of movement being visualized as an integral part of the composition. The painting process is, after all, inherently corporeal by nature. Naukkarinen’s immediate, intuitive painting style is like a journey into a subconscious world or an alternative plane of thought.
Naukkarinen studied at the Fine Arts Academy of Finland and her works are found in numerous private collections. The artist is based in Helsinki.