Kati Immonen – Wilderness versus Garden
Kati Immonen, Eatable, From the Series Monument, 2020. EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Photo Ari Karttunen / EMMA.
Jyväskylä Art Museum June 4th – September 5th, 2021
In Kati Immonen’s skilful watercolour paintings, luscious plants and colourful flowers remind us of nature’s regenerative power. In her work, the artist reflects on the relationship between humans and nature.
The paintings by Jyväskylä-born artist Kati Immonen are exquisite, incredibly versatile and technically skilful. Immonen is known as an innovator of watercolour techniques in her combination of photorealistic exactitude and spontaneous painterly effects.
For years, the artist’s main theme has been focused on the relationship between humans and nature. During the last few years her painting series have depicted baskets of wild flowers and gardens overtaken by forest growth – as known to gardeners who attempt to control nature. In the miniature world of these paintings, bouquets made by people start to grow on their own, luscious plant life spreads and takes over the space. The artist considers how structured planted species and wild plants grow together and learn to live from, and with, each other.
In her newer work, nature has taken over constructions left by humans – luxurious swimming pools and memorial monuments. In the series ”Monuments” serious busts are covered in plants to an almost unrecognisable state, indicating the transience of history. The artist has named the paintings according to the plants in these images rather than the historical figures underneath them.
– When I walk through the city, I often re-think old statues and I create a dialogue between them with plants. This makes a kind of conceptual bio-art. My paintings are connected to this conversation between memorials and flora, Immonen tells.
In the series ”Overgrown” structures built by people make way for stories, animals playing or forest growth. The luscious energy of life that threatens to take over her paintings is not alluding to an apocalypse, but to paradise. The artwork brings forth the eternal force of regeneration and the cycle of life.
The extensive exhibition shows Immonen’s work made between 2016 and 2021.
Kati Immonen (b. 1971, Jyväskylä) graduated from the Turku Art Academy in 1997. Her work has been extensively shown in Finland and abroad. Immonen’s artwork can be found in the central collections of contemporary art in Finland as well as the Nordic Watercolour Museum in Sweden. Immonen has also produced a number of public artworks. She is one of the artists chosen to create work for the Hospital Nova, completed in Jyväskylä in 2020.