Anu Kauhaniemi

Rooms, Illusions / 2020, oil on canvas, 200 x 300 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

Views, Wishes / 2020, oil on canvas, 200 x 150 cm

Anu

Scenes I / 2018, 70 x 200 cm, oil on canvas

Anu Kauhaniemi

Scenes II / 2018, 70 x 200 cm, oil on canvas

Anu Kauhaniemi

Scenes

2018 - 22

Distanced architectural layers – A peek into the views of paintings by Anu Kauhaniemi

Written by Art Philosopher and Fine Art Therapist Johanna Wahlbeck

While Kauhaniemi’s works – which she calls scenes – are strongly exploratory of visual perceptions, their interpretation is not tied to our concrete reality. She seeks to give the viewer an opportunity to embark on a magical journey of imagination by leaving some details of specifically representational paintings on a sufficiently referential level. Though not seeking to nail down interpretations through the titles of the works, Kauhaniemi also avoids leaving excessive room for interpretation, aiming instead for the name to give the viewer some kind of key.


From the public space to the private
Notable examples of her earlier work include paintings inspired by the Helsinki Music Centre (Galleria Katariina 2013). Even these works display her typical strong interplay of light and shadow and a powerful contrast that simplifies the image surface. That contrast stresses a two-dimensional character, while the strong perspective, spatiality, and representativeness of the works create a representational illusion of three dimensions. In places observation dives deep into the spaces of the paintings, while elsewhere the colour surface fractures the experience of depth.


Kauhaniemi’s latest works combine the study and details of a space, with such features as the carousel familiar from previous works occasionally included as a shadow, as if in a glimpse. A cosy space comes to mind, with a shift from public to private. Observation may be guided in this direction by such elements as shades of houseplants and depictions of a door surface. Softer lines and comfortable sofas bring greater homeliness, and the chairs now have rounder corners. Where colours were previously used to some extent, they have almost always been obscured by later work on the painting.


Where the previous carousel work included minimal pink, giving then the impression of a great leap out of monochrome for this artist, there is now more of this colour. Kauhaniemi feels that this also brings more softness. There is less black and greater use of dark brown, for example. The pinkness of the works nevertheless does not create an unequivocally sentimental impression, but rather brightens the ambience of the space in some way.


Cinematographic transitions
The depicted spaces have shrunk, and the angle of observation or view has changed. We have shifted from a long-range view of a large public space to a cinematographic movement in smaller spaces through painting. These paintings include a wide variety of glimpses or views, occasionally through a concrete gap in a door through which one can also peek into a public space that alludes to previous works.


- Johanna Wahlbeck

Views, Peeks / 2019, oil on canvas, 200 x 150 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

From the series Rooms, Transitions / 2020, oil on canvas, 80 x 200 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

From the series Rooms, Transitions / 2020, oil on canvas, 80 x 200 cm

Kauhaniemi-12c-pieni.jpg

From the series Rooms, Transitions / 2020, oil on canvas, 80 x 200 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

From the series Rooms, Transitions / 2020, oil on canvas, 80 x 200 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

From the series Rooms, Transitions / 2020, oil on canvas, 80 x 200 cm

Kauhaniemi-01.jpg

From the Series Small Scenes / 2021, oil on wood, 26 X 26 cm

1_anu_kauhaniemi_pienia1.jpg

From the Series Small Scenes / 2021, oil on wood, 26 X 26 cm

3_anu_kauhaniemi_pienia4.jpg

From the Series Small Scenes / 2021, oil on wood, 26 X 26 cm

2_anu_kauhaniemi_pienia3.jpg

From the Series Small Scenes / 2021, oil on wood, 26 X 26 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

Rooms, Surfaces I / 2020, oil on canvas, 33 x 50 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

Rooms, Surfaces II / 2020, oil on canvas, 33 x 50 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

Rooms, Surfaces III / 2020, oil on canvas, 33 x 50 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

Rooms, Surfaces IV / 2020, oil on canvas, 33 x 50 cm

Anu Kauhaniemi

Views, Shadows / 2019, oil on canvas, 100 x 240 cm