Anna Tuori’s (b. 1976) paintings are brimming with tensions and meanings. Her visual expression is vibrant: it combines delicate and precise, drawing-like lines with broad, even aggressive brush strokes and wide, intensive coats of colour. In Tuori’s works, things are constantly shifting, and the viewer encounters them as new. Faces and other shapes emerge, disintegrate or unfold into a seeming void. You can see eyes peering around from the backside of one of the characters. Some characters are waiting for something, while others go quickly past.
The title of the exhibition, Window, is apt: you can take a look through a window, either from the outside or the inside, to see what lies on the other side. Some things you can see perfectly clearly through a window, while others remain out of sight. Painting provides Tuori with a way to examine things that cannot truly be seen nor verbalised and to investigate how such things can be portrayed. A recurrent theme in Tuori’s works is how things appear on the outside and what they conceal within. When you look at another person, you always see them from the outside, from within yourself. What are the things that others can see of you on the outside? How much of the internal world of others are you able to see?
These themes are intertwined with our mind’s habit of filling the gaps and seeking and identifying forms. Some of the shapes in Tuori’s paintings are entirely abstract, while others are subtly suggestive and therefore recognisable. In Entirely Personal Matter (Hooker´s Green Lake Deep), you can clearly distinguish the outlines of a person, eyeglasses and a drinking glass. The person is depicted in a sitting posture, hugging their knees and looking like they are just barely holding together. It looks like their shape is constantly receding in a flurry of spirals while simultaneously unfolding into the air; as if the painted shapes were in a single, continuous motion, still in the process of being created, and being merged with the painting and the brush strokes.
The paintings in the exhibition engage in a dialogue with the gallery space, and the boundary between the internal world of the painting and the surrounding space becomes blurred. A flush lawn adorns the floor of the gallery space, and the view from the windows to Fredrikinkatu is portrayed in Tuori’s Peculiar Desire to Follow (Cerulean, Ultramarine, Cobalt, Preuss) as different and divergent. The various layers, collisions and surprises keep emerging from one work and one space to the next.
Works from a series depicting psychiatric wards are on display downstairs. The earliest works from the series date back to 2007, and the small, pastel-coloured paintings depict buildings which stand in the middle of the scenery, beautiful and serene. The thick walls and the windows introduce – or conceal – a world of its own.
Anna Tuori graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts, Helsinki, in 2003. She has also studied at L’École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, in 1999–2000. In addition to Galerie Anhava, Tuori’s works have in recent years been exhibited in solo exhibitions in e.g. Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve in Paris. She has also participated in various group exhibitions both in Finland and abroad, such as Finnish Aalto at the Busan Museum of Art (2019), Content is a Glimpse at the Efremidis Gallery, Berlin (2018), Augmented Reality at the Norrköping Museum of Art (2017) and Dark Days, Bright Nights at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City (2015). Tuori has been nominated for the Ars Fennica and Carnegie Art Awards. Her works are included in various private and public collections, such as the Helsinki Art Museum (HAM), the Museum of Contemporary Art, Kiasma, the Saastamoinen Foundation, Sara Hildén Art Museum and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.
– Sanna Lipponen