Anne-Karin Furunes, “Darkness Illuminated”

Stockholm, 12.11–20.12  2009

On the 12 November, Galleri Andersson/Sandström opens its third exhibition with works by Norwegian artist Anne-Karin Furunes. Starting from archival pictures Furunes creates her work by perforating the canvas by hand. The result is a cross-breed between sculpture, photography and painting, where the holes create the image.

Anne-Karin Furunes, born in 1961, has developed her very own artistic technique. The linen canvases primed black or white, where anonymous portraits appear, are perforated. The white dots are in fact the colour of the wall behind the artwork, seen through the holes. These trick the eye into seeing nuances in the picture, depending on the size of the hole. Instead of being the surface on which the work is created, the canvas is turned into a kind of filter through which the image is seen.

Furunes’ punching of holes started as a problematic relation to the act of painting. Creating images by punching holes in–and thereby breaking–the canvas was the artist’s way of coming to terms with a suffocating, white, male, modernist tradition of painting. The work examines memory, both the collective and the personal. Anne-Karin Furunes gets her motives from private photo albums, archives or her own photos. The pictures always have a history. Furunes takes a great interest in history and how it–just like memory–is in constant change and is illuminated or blacked out by the values and attitudes of the times.

The pictures are sometimes taken from historically controversial contexts. Furunes has, for example, used pictures of persons who disappeared during the Second World War in Norway. But the political aspect is not Furunes’ main point of interest. “I am trying to capture a past moment, that might as well have been here and now. The images have to be present in the meeting with the viewer, because it is the viewer who ‘develops’ the picture through his or her perception of it.”

Anne-Karin Furunes is one of Norway’s most well-known artists, who has exhibited her work throughout Europe, the US, Canada and in Australia. She has accomplished several public commissions, such as the subway station Nationaltheatret in the centre of Oslo, the headquarters of Telenor in Bergen, the Linnæus garden at the Chelsea Flower Show in 2007, the Department of Education at the University of Gothenburg and the public swimming baths in Borås. Since several years Furunes is professor at the Academy of Arts in Trondheim.

Galleri Andersson/Sandström has worked with Anne-Karin Furunes since 2002, when she took part in Umedalen Skulptur and had a solo show at the gallery. This is Furunes’ third solo show, after a second show in Umeå in the spring of 2007.