Anna Finney


The visual world of Anna Finney makes room for the defenseless. Vulnerability runs like a thread through many years of picture making. It originated in a series of paintings titled “Famous Bedrooms”, reproducing the bedrooms of different celebrities – the most intimate, exhibited for everyone to see. The next series, “Those who are Lying Down” (“Dom som ligger ner”), built on the same train of thought, depicting people sleeping on, for instance, a laundry room floor or in a cardboard box. Again, it was the most intimate, privacy and sleep, that was played up in front of an audience – as is the situation for the homeless. The next exhibit, “Those who Wait” (“Dom som väntar”), showing at Galleri Brändström in 2005, was a direct continuation of this theme; people lying down waiting for something; – death, life or a motivation for change. There was a seed, within those pictures, that was about the destiny, the responsibility and the possibilities of the individual, becoming more important in later works. As well, there were reminders of what kind of feelings the sight of helplessness evokes – compassion but perhaps also contempt.

Within the exhibits that followed a gradual transformation can be noted, in that the individuals within the pictures have started to move, to take initiatives to travel – away from or towards some unknown place. The existential symbolism of the Subway fascinates; the journey under ground, always with the absolute darkness as the unconditional end destination. A journey we make together in the present but at different times in our lives. We meet, keep company for a while and go our different ways. Foreboding, but at the same time so ordinary, a ritual we take part in every day without thought. The current exhibit at Galleri Thomas Wallner is called “The Travelers”. It is an exhibit entirely dedicated to portraits. People traveling or waiting to depart in the piercing, artificial light of the subway. A series within the series consists of small, yellow tinted black and white pictures depicting some subway travelers. Some of them are our contemporaries and others are picked up from paintings by Rembrandt, the great portrayer of man.

These different characters meet for an instance, within the frame of the picture, on a journey through time. Two large scale paintings within the exhibit speak to one another as a couple – the one representing a man stretched out on the asphalt in a fetal position , the other, the artist herself sleeping in a bed in the same position. Here, another kind of travel is hinted at, one that perhaps has more to do with dreaming and falling.

Resande man Oil on canvas, 2007 109 x 125 cm
På väg Oil on canvas, 2007 142 x 120 cm