ELINA MERENMIES’ (b. 1967, Finland) works are figurative, but the reality that they depict is a mixture of inner visions and multithreaded stories.
“Contained and eruptive, the galvanic impressions that Merenmies meticulously paints and draws seize the viewer with their sense of truth. With a pious dedication to her expression, Merenmies uses alchemist-like skills to portray beauty in difficult, poetic and often twisted forms; she does not shy away from facing the shadowy side of humanity with her masterful technique and devoted approach to material and color.” – Antonia Hamberg, 2018.
The figures in Merenmies’ India ink drawings on hand-made paper are affective and disturbing, arousing admiration, fear and sympathy at the same time. In her new works the themes range from forests to strange figures that require more contemplation. Everything is painted in a fine and refined manner, washed with a wide brush or using marten hair.
Merenmies’ paintings are extremely skilfully detailed and sensitive. Combining tempera and oil on canvas and intricate ink washes the works seem strange and frightening, beautiful and comforting. The paintings create a mythical and mystical world of their own, but they also lead us to see our own world more sharply and to understand ourselves better.
Elina Merenmies graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 1999 and has since then held solo exhibitions and participated in joint exhibitions both in Finland and abroad. Works by Elina Merenmies have been on display in solo exhibitions at Galerie Anhava (2016), Kunsthalle Helsinki (2012) and the Nordic Watercolour Museum (2010), and in group exhibitions at Kuopio Art Museum (Upside Down, 2018–19), Norrköping Art Museum, Norrköping (Augmented Reality, 2017–18), HAM Helsinki Art Museum (Pleasure, 2017) and Galerie Mikael Andersen in Copenhagen (Papiret, 2016), among other venues.
Her works are included in leading public and private collections in Finland, the collections of several Nordic art museums, such as the ARKEN Museum for Modern Art and the Uppsala Art Museum, and European and American private collections.