February 5, 2012

Art Sync reviewed Anders Oinonen’s exhibition People People which recently opened at the gallery.

“While he dabbles in both more representational and more abstract artistic styles, Anders Oinonen’s most compelling paintings are his pseudo-portraits, in which basic elements of the face are assembled with wide brush-strokes and vivid colours. In People People, his current solo exhibition at Cooper Cole Gallery, faces are alternately combined and fragmented, all the while remaining instantly recognizable.

Oinonen clearly has a reverence for this often irrational aspect of human instinct, as his cheerful, child-like faces reflect Sagan’s “goony grin” right back at us. Indeed, his “Untitled” is practically the visual manifestation of Sagan’s idea: the child immediately locating a friendly face in the landscape. By choosing to approach the portrait in this manner, Oinonen still allows the viewer his sense of personal connection to the piece while also opening up entirely new possibilities for analysis.

So let’s dive into it: A tension apparent in People People is in defining the tenuous border between painting and subject. With his thick brushwork and garish colour choices, his pieces scream their identity as paintings rather than playing at representing reality. Ultimately, Oinonen appeals to the viewer’s natural tendency to search a painting for inherent “humanity,” no matter how loosely it represents this idea. In paintings such as “Lockung,” Danish painter Asger Jorn (Oinonen’s precursor and admitted idol) employs a similar technique, but with a critical difference: where in Jorn the simplistic face is layered over the landscape, Oinonen fuses the two. In doing so, he has relocated the human element to the very center of the painting, with the piece’s meaning constructed through the viewer’s recognition, rather than by the imposition of the artist. Oinonen’s portraits are thus highly interactive, inviting us to empathize with their subjects, all the while gently mocking our desire to do so.”

To view the full article please visit Art Sync.

For more information about Anders Oinonen please contact the gallery:

+1 (647) 347-3316


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