In her colourful paintings, Johanna Freise unfolds image scenarios that are unflinchingly honest. In the manner of film stills, her pictures present graceful self-reflections bearing witness to a very fine sense of all things human. The artist’s interior and exterior landscapes, fraught with symbolism, open doors onto our inadequacies, our deepest abysses or desires. In their extraordinary directness, they also remind us of the early experimental films of the Surrealist avant-garde. Composition and perspective frequently borrow from the imagery of comics, a medium that Freise is working with regularly and with which she made a short movie, that won numerous prizes: Kurzes Leben (2008) consists of thousands of highly skilled drawings produced over a period of more than four years. The storyboard was based on a comic created in 1998. The paintings presented now hark back to this painstaking film production and the artist’s intensive confrontation with the medium of drawing. Irrespective of the clarity of their imagery, Johanna Freise’s pictures do not disclose their full meaning at first glance, but demand observers who take their time and are prepared to let themselves in for what is beneath the surface.
oil on canvas
45 x 40 cm
monogrammed and dated on the front
14.04.–14.05.2022 Johanna Freise. Trunk, Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Vienna ↗
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