An artistic meeting between two generations, seemingly widely differing art forms but with the feminist and contemporary commentary as a common denominator. Both with connections to Södertälje.
Monika Kiviniemi makes acrylic paintings on linen canvas, in a layer-on-layer technique. She often uses masking tape that is either painted over or torn off to create stripes. Words or messages can be embedded in the process. Or as Monika herself formulates “Paint. Paint over. Analyze and evaluate. Mix paint and wash brushes. Paint. Tape, scrape and wipe off. Paint layer upon layer. Analyze and evaluate. Paint over. Paint. Keep or delete. Analyze and evaluate. ”. The end result is perceived as abstract, but beneath the surface, various overpainted motifs can be glimpsed. Social reflection and the world situation are always present. “There is so much going on in the world and of course it affects me and my painting. It feels like the whole world is undergoing some kind of makeover. ” In the run-up to the show, her commitment was to the events in the United States, such as the feminist struggle that the Trump backslash gave rise to. In the painting “Think Pink” with an overpainting in a clear pink color, she connects to the women’s movement that emerged during the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States. In the painting with the ironic title, which also refers to a line by Jimi Hendrix in the song “Purple Haze”, “Excuse me while I kiss the sky”, we see stencils of the Statue of Liberty repeatedly looking forward. “It is also a statement – a comment that Trump is now trying to close borders even though it goes against both the country’s constitution and values.” She calls her part of the exhibition “Makeover”. Paintings with lines and stripes. Like finally stroking a line and moving on through the different layers of experienced events? But to still carry the story further through the different layers, historical layer language, cycles. Not to forget. The characters remain. To create a more timeless spiritual dimension in the tighter outer layer. A kind of controlled expressionism. To create a certain order in chaos, and perhaps in the idea that the world is abstract, there are no given answers.
The younger artist Stephanie Abdallah’s extremely detailed and imaginative drawings in black and white as well as paintings were exhibited further into the art gallery. The young woman’s experiences at the center. “Abdallah’s squiggly girl’s room aesthetic shows the power hidden in intimacy and the freedom to indulge in unplanned daydreaming and free association. Her images are like visual thought maps where thoughts slowly take shape. ”. Stephanie describes an obsession to fill all the gaps and draw connections between different objects. “My pictures become a bit like metaphors for ideas and thoughts I have about different topics. I start thinking about one thing, then I draw what I associate with it, and so on. ”. One will think of surrealists like Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí. But also comic book aesthetics. She asks the question “What private places do we have left, when the distance between thought and action is only a click away? The slow pace of drawing enables and creates space for something else. ”. The artist’s ability to create a subtle inner freedom, albeit temporary, to take command of his own time.
Sources: Södertäljeposten 20 April 2017, Jenny Folkesson, quote from Monika Kiviniemi’s text Enhörna 29 March 2017, quote from press release 5 April 2017, quote from text Stephanie Abdallah, compiled by Anneli Karlsson.