Emmi Kallio’s paintings depict the time we currently live in, but they also have a nostalgic undertone. They display the scattered world around us, while also looking back, longing for something pristine and beautiful that might have once existed.
Essentially for Kallio, beauty is not irrelevant. Beauty is worth striving for, but it is this striving that Kallio depicts in her art rather than the accomplished end result.
Her paintings are also depictions of a generation. In their world, the demand for apparent lightness is materialized and combined with a concretized fear of the future and destruction. The paintings don’t hold the futurism of 50’s modernism, no ideals of progress. Their undertone is expectant and inquiring.
Of course, Kallio paints specifically an abstract surface. Her painting method is similar to informalism and abstract expressionism, but her work lacks the presence of the physical hubris marking many representatives of these genres. The painting allows the viewer to sense the artist’s movement; these artworks were not created standing still. This movement, rhythm and balance between spontaneity and control are fascinating aspects to the whole.
Kallio manages to remain on the surface, even though the viewer wants to delve deeper. She is able to keep the composition together without underlining the artworks’ layers of significance. The interpretation is up to the viewer; Kallio herself is responsible for the abstraction, the surface.