The Hole is proud to announce the second New York solo show by Toronto artist Anders Oinonen. In this exhibition he presents a group of new oil paintings in a variety of scales and personalities, some of them installed in three dimensional plinths that protrude retro-futuristically from the walls. The paintings are colorful and deep, where subtle decisions about brush stroke order and thickness of paint are used to pull faces out of landscapes and make psysiognomies into hills and valleys and cliffs.
With their gazes always averted, these faces can read as sad, perplexed, or serene but all emotions that are subdued like the palette. Their sight lines criss cross the gallery, while the extruding plinths make faces pop out at you from unexpected angles as they peep around corners or look down on you from above. As in the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud, many of Oinonen’s faces cast stark shadows; and also like Thiebaud, each brushstroke seems “hot” with the bright underpainting, while the thick brushstrokes on top are cool with soft, coastal light.
In the words of the artist, “The non-subject and ubiquitous nature of faces is appealing to me as a stripped down structure to build upon; as a vehicle for abstraction, and as a straightforward symbol of communication.
An openness to multiple readings is fundamental to me. These faces are meant to be open to interpretation; as a being, thing, landscape, abstraction, or even just paint. The faces sometimes have a blank or contemplative stare, often outside the picture plane, away from the viewer to allow for a less confrontational examination. The act of looking as the subject is meant to suggest that both painting and viewer, who are immersed in the same activity, are perhaps one and the same. The communicative goal is empathic in that I would like the viewer to feel caught in a loop of looking at a looker. This is meant to raise the awareness of the viewer enabling them to perhaps partake in the same emotion as the depiction, projecting a sentience onto the work. Within this facial framework I am abstracting and composing relationships of colours and shapes to generate illusionistic spaces suggesting further associations.”
Oinonen has exhibited very widely in Canada as well as participating in group exhibitions in LA with Richard Heller, Copenhagen with V1, James Harris in Seattle, and many more. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at Cooper Cole Toronto (2012) LES Gallery Vancouver (2011) and CTRL Gallery Houston (2010).