Ratio 3 is pleased to present More Life, a solo exhibition of new artworks by Henna Vainio. Working with pigmented plaster, Vainio has produced a series of wall-mounted objects, freestanding sculptures, and lamps, each cast from molds made of common materials. Using manipulated cardboard and fabric as templates for her forms, Vainio presents objects that suggest animated motion, balance, and agencies of their own.
The series of wall-mounted works in More Life each record a particular moment, functioning partly like topographical photographs of a still life arrangement. Yet, each imprint modifies and abstracts its source material so that the sculpture does not read strictly as documentation. Vainio’s use of monochromatic pigments lends vibrance to her torsioned, layered forms. The selectively-enhanced colors pronounce the relief of each sculpture, accentuating shapes, and lending physicality and weight to the color itself.
Vainio’s series of freestanding sculptures titled Legs are cast from bent and balanced corrugated cardboard molds. The various interlocking lengths of her sculptures are suggestive of limbs and structural buttresses. Bearing relation to the body, the contortions of Vainio’s cast forms imply movement; each is at once fluid and solid, both stable and vulnerable. In the rear gallery, Vainio presents a suite of lamps visible by their own cast light, seemingly poised for motion.
Throughout More Life, cardboard is not a packing material, towels are not functional objects, but are instead references for a type of still life. Removed from their intended, often disposable functions, Vainio’s materials are not simply preserved, but transformed and elevated. Whether by subtle anthropomorphization, or by capturing the drapery of fabrics meant for the human body, Vainio’s newest works both embody and evoke life.
Henna Vainio (b. 1981, Finland) lives and works in San Francisco. Vainio earned her MFA from Slade School of Fine Art, UCL in London and her BFA from Chelsea College of Arts in London. She has had solo exhibitions at Outpost, Norwich, UK; Capital, San Francisco; and Pracownia Potretu, Lodz, Poland. This is her first exhibition with Ratio 3.