Elina Autio: Blankets


Elina Autio presents her new, monumental series ‘Blankets’ in the Takkahuone gallery

The monumental pieces that comprise the serial work ‘Blankets’ fill the walls of Takkahuone, towering over the space in their immovable dominance. A closer inspection reveals how fragile and fleeting they actually are. Elina Autio’s series, debuting at Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, was born in a union of industrial mesh, corrugated fiberboard and a cover of sprayed-on paint.

Elina Autio is inspired by the materials she works with: she strives to find that material a new form while preserving its fundamental properties as much as she can. Many of her works are built on industrial hardware, the standardized sizes of which define the scale and form of her works.

The Blankets-series of works was conceived when the artist took spare parts of shredded fiberboard, lying about her studio, and started to wrap them around welded wire mesh. Going through the same motions with more regular, thicker slices of fiberboard resulted in an interesting observation. The weaved surface, wrapped around weldmesh, took on an uncanny resemblance to fabric. The materials combined to create an impression of an entirely different substance. The creation of such illusions through playful applications of color and material is common in Elina Autio’s art.

Playing with Opposites

The artist’s works contain a hidden duality: regularity conceals irregularity, industrial wholes beckon with a human voice, materials prove to be entirely different than what first meets the eye. Autio insists on making works that defy perfection, composed against logic, fractured and faded, imperfections in exactness.

The mechanical repetition that dominates the works in ‘Blankets’ is contrasted by a color palette that evokes a sense of arbitrary placement. The use of color stands apart from the logic of the larger work. The artist is also fascinated by the idea of building expansive structures out of fragile materials, creating works that are both monumental and vulnerable in their temporality.

Autio’s sizeable works contain many smaller, even hidden, details that break the larger whole. Looking at the work up close reveals new meanings that reshape the entire work. The works challenge the relationship between the audience and the exhibition space: spatial movement creates new points of view.

Elina Autio (born 1985) graduated with a Master’s Degree in Visual Arts from the Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts in 2014. She was also a student in the Munich Academy of Fine Arts in 2012 and 2013. Autio lives and works in Leppäkoski, Finland. She has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. The artist’s works are included in the collections of the Finnish National Gallery and the Finnish Art Society.

Elina Autio, Blankets, 2017, welded wire mesh, corrugated cardboard, spray paint
Elina Autio, Blankets, 2017, welded wire mesh, corrugated cardboard, spray paint
Elina Autio, Blankets, 2017, welded wire mesh, corrugated cardboard, spray paint
A detail from the work Blankets, 2017, welded wire mesh, corrugated cardboard, spray paint