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Anja Salonen’s Surrealist Work of Existential Unease

Anja Salonen’s Surrealist Work of Existential Unease

Anja Salonen’s Surrealist Paintings of Existential Unease

LOS ANGELES — Existential unease fills the air between the partitions of Unknot, a solo exhibition of work by Anja Salonen at in lieu, her first on the gallery. Salonen’s picture decisions cull up reminiscences of Surrealist work of their absurdity, but their colours are all spectacle, dripping with the type of flooded, unnatural lighting typical of minimalist theater. Maybe it’s the dramatic lighting that brings the movies of David Lynch to thoughts, or possibly it’s the emotionally vacant cow located behind a seemingly floating lady in Salonen’s “Hysteria” (2022), who’s upon second look truly arched face-up throughout a farmer’s knee.

Anja Salonen, “Time Lick in Pink” (2022), oil and acrylic on canvas, 28 x 22 inches

In “Time Lick in Pink,” a mysterious hand swings a timepiece forwards and backwards in entrance of a determine’s clean stare, a cliché depiction of hypnosis, whereas in “Rat Temple Milk” one other set of mysterious human fingers cup collectively to raise milk from a big bowl the place rats dine in multitude (each 2022).  Mirrored within the milk is the presumed face of the determine, but whereas the fingers are human, the face is that of a rat. In each artworks, we get a type of fusion of cinematic eeriness and painterly thriller — as if Salonen has created some type of suspense-driven soft-horror movie by which the portray’s characters are actors and all we get are these movie stills to see.

Anja Salonen, “Rat Temple Milk” (2022), oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches

Close by “Inexperienced Fluorescent Protein 1” and “Inexperienced Fluorescent Protein 2” (each 2022) depict one bright-orange-and-green mouse every. At four-by-four inches, the work are fairly small and the mice they include fill their frames, giving the impression that they, just like the lab mice they reference, are trapped. One other portray, “Partial Metamorphosis (Pre Tail-Absorption)” (2022), additionally looks like an outline of a science experiment. Utilizing the identical bright-orange-and-green lighting, two fingers cup collectively to carry a small quantity of water by which a number of tadpoles swim. The scene may as simply be harmless, a baby’s science experiment maybe, because it could possibly be nefarious. Both means, I’m nervous for these tadpoles.

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“Inexperienced Fluorescent Protein 1” (2022), oil on canvas, 4 x 4 inches; “Inexperienced Fluorescent Protein 2” (2022), oil on canvas, 4 x 4 inches

In “Emily and Emma; Machine Studying” (2022), a topic actually doubles in shock as she contemplates a robotic head she holds in her fingers. Whereas it takes a second (and maybe a press launch) to infer the scene, the sense of id disaster comes throughout instantly. Just like the work of Surrealists Magritte or Dali or the movies of Peter Greenaway, Salonen’s work level to a location by which actuality is slippery, ill-defined — a dream or place of play. The distinction, nonetheless, is that in 2022, Salonen’s world doesn’t appear so unusual or surreal. Within the close to future, holding a robotic head in a single’s fingers might be thought-about mundane.

Anja Salonen, “Emily and Emma; Machine Studying” (2022), oil and dye on canvas, 48 x 48 inches
Set up view of Unknot, in lieu, 2022

Unknot continues at in lieu (1206 Maple Avenue, Suite 903, Bendix Constructing, Downtown, Los Angeles) by way of July 2. The exhibition was organized by the gallery.

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