The Simple Sense of Existence
28.03. – 16.05.2020
Salon Dahlmann, Miettinen Collection
Temporary Showroom ground floor
Marburger Straße 3
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Eemil Karila’s (1978) latest exhibition, The Simple Sense of Existence, is in the artist’s own words, “a post-human manifestation, an ensemble of works that I hope will encourage us to see and respect the nature around us, to forget ourselves and abandon our human-centric worldview.”
The artist has been on the lookout for nature that still persists in urban spaces. With the world on the verge of ecological disaster, perceptions are shifting to a new sensibility towards nature, its beauty and presence, things we all too often take for granted. Karila’s paintings include wild flowers that have grown in stretches of wasteland, overgrown backyards and other desolate areas. The artists works are a reminder of the importance of nature on a small-scale, an ode to natura minora. First and foremost it is a romantic notion, yet is also an ethical requirement for mankind.
There is a way to reverse our present collision course with environmental catastrophe.
Paintings that depict plants typically serve as an allegory that speaks to issues beyond what is immediately apparent. Karila’s landscapes allow him to show how nature is a part of our world and that we can treat it well. He believes that contemporary art addresses not only aesthetic, but also moral and philosophical issues. Life, the world and art must not be separated; rather they can be lived and experienced as a whole. The artist reminds us of the importance to look deeper and zoom in on the essence of our existence.
Karila paints directly on thick uncoated linen. The process resembles making a fresco, where all the paint and pigments are sucked in, making the act of painting a slow process but one that accentuates the intensity of the pigments. Karila also draws with thick oil bars on the ink-soaked canvases, which creates a vivid surface. The slowness of his working process fits the depiction of nature well, as nature runs on a schedule of its own.
Eemil Karila (b. 1978 in Rovaniemi) is an artist living in Berlin. He graduated from the Estonian Academy of Arts in 2002 and he received a Master of Arts degree from the Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. Karila has held more than 30 solo exhibitions and dozens of joint exhibitions around the world including in Germany, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Brazil and Venezuela. The artist’s works are held by the collections of the Rovaniemi and Tampere Art Museums, the Antti and Jenny Wihuri Foundation, Aune Laaksonen, the Aine Fine Arts Foundation and Miettinen Collection (Berlin).
Text by PhD Juha-Heikki Tihinen
Photo: Nick Ash