Kirsi Mikkola | Abschied der Lumpenliese


carlier | gebauer is happy to announce the second solo exhibition of Finnish painter Kirsi Mikkola entitled Abschied der Lumpenliese (Panhandler‘s Farewell). Mikkola, who is based in Berlin, has been with the gallery since the early 1990s, but her artistic practice has taken a fundamental turn in the last years, which was first represented in her last solo exhibition with the gallery in 2010. For the last years, Mikkola has been working on the terms of a painterly praxis, which pushes its own boundaries in front of the perceiver’s eyes, making beautifully and painfully visible, that it defines painting as its territory but never lets itself be limited by its conventions. Mikkola proposes an artist-centered art – a painterly praxis of material thought, a re-materialization of art.

In Abschied der Lumpenliese, Mikkola presents rectangular and round tableaux, on which colored strips of paper and fields of deepening color palettes are brought into agitated relations. Her paintings are abstract, because Mikkola has used the utmost force to drive any form of figuration out of them. In that, her work might be compared to that of the early Francis Bacon, an artistic practice, which is driven by the urge to formulate an argument rather than an oeuvre, a stance rather than a representation. Where in Bacon, figuration was cut wide open, being torn apart by the abstraction shooting through it, in Mikkola the figuration is transmuted. In her paintings, she sets up confrontations and affinities of color and form, which she forces to loose those figurative allusions, which would help to perceive her paintings as pacified entities open for aesthetic contemplations. Mikkola works with the beautifications inherent to color and form but describes her own process of production not so much as one of finishing and encapsulating a harmonized entity in the painting, but rather as an act of concentrated eruption. Her works are at their best where they are cracking wide open, void of any anchors or points of identification. They leave the artist’s studio when they have insistently refused conciliation.

Installation Views

  • Kirsi Mikkola, Abschied der Lumpenliese, exhibition view at carlier | gebauer, 2011

  • Kirsi Mikkola, Abschied der Lumpenliese, exhibition view at carlier | gebauer, 2011