Exhibition > Past > SEB Gallery

SEB Gallery 03.11.2004-17.12.2004


Phrase and connection

Simple, but important things.

It seems as if Mari Roosvalt and Mara Koppel do not share any joint features in their works. The former continues in her paintings the series, which was started in the past few years, where the photographed detail is sunk into a fracas of colours. The latter in her turn divides the whole painting area into clearly detached pannels and does not allow herself any expressive deviations. But these are only techical boundaries, as the core of Roosvalt and Koppel is clearly the same. Furthermore: one could assume that this “core” is not so much technical, but contextual or Roosvalt and Koppel share the joint message.

In the first range the similarity of the two painters can be detected while watching their work methods. Both Roosvalt and Koppel have picked from the surrounding everyday life certain concrete motifs, situations, angles of vision, positions. This is not just picking of “everyday moments” because these moments belong to everyday life, so into the traditionally “non-poetic” sphere of life. Both Roosvalt, but especially Koppel, have made a careful choice of items, which to pick out from everyday busy life onto their canvases.In case of Mari Roosvalt these are presumably certain cuttings from city milieu. Roosvalt, having visited during the last years repeatedly Finland and Sweden and taken photos of houses and bridges, is still different in the present series. The artist has brought from Venice only a few items, clearly belonging to the physical body of the city: some windows, some curtains, some cut-glass installations. But Roosvalt has unexpectedly been captured in one of the grand cities of the world history and the undoubtable peak of art history also by a swing to see abstract figures in the city. Light and slightly nostalgic-romantic shades of works, which were painted under the Swedish and Finnish influences, have suddenly changed into sharp and forceful expressions. Of the biggest surprise is in this context “Fraas XI” (“Phrase IX”), which sporadically moves along hippie-style joyful moods. Here the Roosvalt-series has developed further, her painter’s handwriting has been supplemented by stronger contrasts, to her message have been added certain strangely optimistic frames of temper.

Mara Koppel is considerably more laconic than Roosvalt, her use of language is modest and measured. Her series “Side” (“The bond”) is a clearly built up conceptual integer, idea-centered and cordially orderly. Koppel focuses her glance on five different moments, where a human hand touches another object. We never see the person, all of the hands are anonymous and can belong to anybody. Also to You. Moments, which are being depicted by Koppel, are very common: we can see them either at a concert or in an airport, in a zoo or a maternity ward. And still. And still it is the fact that a simple gesture expresses on a painting by Koppel a hundred times more than this foam of words. Mother’s hand sliding over the stomach of an expecting woman, a musician’s hand reaching towards the piano, two hands entangled in a prayer. There is nothing more to it. Everything is clear. Words are not needed, as there are no suitable words for this.

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