Mari Sunna

Artist page

Mari Sunna, Untitled, 2023, oil on canvas, 100 x 90 cm. Photo: Jussi Tiainen

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Galerie Anhava is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Mari Sunna. Showcasing paintings created during the last three years, the exhibition also includes drawings that the artist is displaying now for the first time. After the strong and captivating figures from her previous exhibition she has moved on to new realms of freedom. It is as if Sunna has dived into the depths of the body, image and mind, to bring back wondrous and striking images we now have an opportunity to encounter for the very first time.

The new paintings teem with interlocking and stacked shapes and abstract views seen from the front, above, close up, far away. The soft surface of the works glows with colour and dim light, shapes become bodies, limbs, organs, faces.Is there an elongated neck, teeth, lips or an undulating fold of a body? The untitled works merge from the artist’s inner world and her concentrated, visual idiom that collapses the structures of thought and language.

The small and intense monochrome drawings are like treasures dredged from the depths of the mind. The subtle, breathing intensity characteristic to the artist is accompanied by an independent, freely mutating form. Employing visual references from sexual and scientific imageries, the artist distils them into impactful and lucidly focused images in which shapes stretch, become abstract, coalesce, unfold. The works on paper are drawn with a beautiful, muted line that runs strong and independent from one image to the next, creating changing shapes as it proceeds across the surface, persistently powerful, in places barely visible. The form produces cell-like grafts, slashes a black hole into the surface, grows a figure, spreads its wings.

Mari Sunna has most recently exhibited her work at CLC Gallery, Beijing (2023); The Hole Gallery, New York (2022); Kunstraum Potsdam, Germany (2022); Galerie Burster, Karlsruhe (2021); Museum of Art and History, Brussels (2018); Palfrey Space, London (2018); and Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta (2017–2018). Sunna has work in several prestigious national and international institutions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Saastamoinen Foundation Collection, Aspen Collection, Deutsche Bank, Nordiska Akvarellmuseet, Saatchi Collection, and UBS Art Collection. Her works can also be found in several private collections in Finland and abroad.

–Hanna Huitu

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Untitled, 2023
pencil on paper, framed
14,5 x 11 cm / 31 x 28,5 cm

Untitled, 2022
oil on canvas
32 x 28 cm

Untitled, 2023
colored pencil and pencil on paper, framed
14 x 13 cm / 31 x 28 cm

installation view

Photo: Jussi Tiainen

Untitled, 2023-24
oil on canvas
85,5 x 81 cm

Untitled, 2022
colored pencil and pencil on paper, framed
25 x 24 cm / 36 x 33,5 cm

Untitled, 2023-24
oil on canvas
75 x 60,5 cm

installation view

Photo: Jussi Tiainen

Untitled, 2022
oil on canvas
69,5 x 60,5 cm

Untitled, 2023
oil on canvas
110 x 79,5 cm

Untitled, 2022
charcoal and pencil on paper
24 x 20 cm / 35,5 x 30,5 cm

installation view

Photo: Jussi Tiainen