The first extensive Finnish exhibition by Denise Grünstein (b. 1950), one of the best known Swedish photographic artists, showcases approximately 40 large works of photographic art and one video installation.
The show exhibits four series of photographs, offering a cross-section of Denise Grünsteins work in the 2000s. She finds the subject matter that is used from her personal experiences, memories, and roots. The lyrical, atmospheric photographs have a strong relationship with art history, romantic painting, and surrealistic photography. The artist works with traditional film and uses an analogue large format view camera. She emphasizes stage-like, artificial ambiance in her photographs.
The Figure Out series, after which the exhibition is named, emphasises hair, behind which the characters in the photographs are mysteriously veiled. The series includes Grünsteins first video installation All Flesh is Grass. The name refers to the perishing, temporary nature of everything and is accompanied by movement, and music composed by Morton Feldman.
Grünstein emphasises the significance of the location in the large colour photograph works of the Figure in Landscape series. The landscape sets the stage for stories with no beginning and no end. The colours of the glowing green forest surround the staged, dreamlike, even threatening scenes in the middle ground between the real and the imaginary. In the series Malplacé (2005), there is a nostalgic dimension, as the artist returns to the places of her childhood near Hanko. The black and white series Zone V (1998) was born as a result from the artists travels throughout Eastern Europe. The images refer to the artists Jewish heritage.
In addition to her artistic work, Denise Grünstein is also known for her commercial photography, portraits, and other contract work. She has held exhibitions at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm (2001) and the Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg (2005), as well as several gallery exhibitions around Europe. Grünstein has made a career as an artist and a photographer in Sweden, but her roots are in Helsinki, and she spent her childhood summers in and around Hanko. The exhibition has been compiled with Galleria Charlotte Lund from Stockholm and is open on the fifth floor of Kiasma
until 15 August 2010.