Anna-Maija Aarras' Citations in Studio 10 June – 4 September 2011

MEDIA PREVIEW on Wednesday, 8 June 2011, at 11 am, at the Turku Art Museum, Aurakatu 26, Turku.
The artist will be present.

The exhibition series in the Studio showcasing artists from Turku continues in the summer with Citations by Anna-Maija Aarras (b. 1948). Aarras is famous for extremely subtle artworks that seduce the viewer with a highly symbiotic combination of materials, colours and manual skill. Studio presents new, earthy works made specifically for this exhibition, pieces with a silk surface that catches the light. In addition to an aesthetically impeccable form, Aarras' works are often endowed also with a slightly playful tone. With passion and an eye for detail, she studies her themes as well as the textile working methods of different cultures. Aarras was elected the Textile Artist of the Year in 1995 by the Finnish Association of Textile Artists TEXO for her boldly pioneering work in textile art.

Anna-Maija Aarras is very familiar with the Turku Art Museum. It was here she saw the first art exhibitions in her childhood, and in 1995 her work was presented here in an extensive show entitled Nostalgia – Anna-Maija Aarras in the Limelight. Citations in the Studio continues the same solemn mood. The dark and stately Sarcophagi (2011, 3 parts) are arresting. Each one is coated with silk velvet in a different hue of dark green. Next to the Sarcophagi, the viewer cannot but feel respect for the distant and the unknown. The works seem to carry some secret within them, yet each one has a distinct persona of its own.

Where the velvet on the attractive Sarcophagi absorbs light, light is reflected by The Wave (2011), which is embroidered with small stitches sewn with yellow silk thread. The Wave glimmers, adapting to the ambient light. It is a detail lifted from some large body of water, seeming to contain the eternal motion of the world's waters. Another work is also made with silk thread, Big Perm (2010), a metal frame around which the artist has wound green thread. Turban (2011) is made of cotton cloth with a floral pattern on red ground. What people wear on their head, whether a perm or a turban, has a powerful defining effect. Anna-Maija Aarras is particularly interested in ritual clothing. A few years ago she studied traditional kimono decoration, patterns and sewing in Japan. Aarras has also created many church textiles, the largest piece being in the church in Iniö.

Anna-Maija Aarras has always found inspiration in nature. She often employs not only the forms, but also the motifs offered by nature. Citations presents quiet and delicate landscape images under the heading Pleated (2011), where a distant landscape has been drawn on pure white.

The exhibition also marks the publication of Outre-Mer – Sinertävä kaukaisuus – Blue in the Distance, a book presenting the artistic output of Anna-Maija Aarras. Published by PARVS Publishing, the book was produced with the help of an Eminentia grant from the Finnish Cultural Foundation. In addition to an essay by the artist, the book also has a text by the art critic Lars Saari. The book is bilingual, Finnish and English.

MEETING WITH THE ARTIST: On Saturday 13 August 2011, Anna-Maija Aarras will talk about her practice in Finnish in the Studio, starting at 2 pm.

Sirpa Särkijärvi 16 Sep – 13 Nov
TPS, Drawing Society of Turku: Joona Huotari, Kari-Petteri Kakko, Jani Kaunisto, Jussi Lepistö, Sami Leppänen, Jan Lindgren, Eero Merimaa, Jarkko Rantanen, Matti Vainio and Juha Welling 18 Nov 2011 – 8 Jan 2012

Additional information:
Jenny Nybom, Curator
tel. +358 (0)2 262 7094 or +358 (0)50 400 3248
Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2018