Emmi Kallio is a visual artist, whose paintings at first glance seem to represent abstract expressionism. On closer inspection, the paintings gradually reveal representational elements, story snippets and recognizable details. Her exhibition, Love Boat, is a tidal wave of aesthetics inspired by cruise liners, icebergs and the final party hours.
Kallio held two solo exhibitions at the ARTag Gallery, which makes this one her third solo exhibition in collaboration with Veikko Halmetoja. At the same time, Kallio’s artworks are also on display at the 5 muijaa (=5 Broads) exhibition curated by Halmetoja for the K.H. Renlund Museum in Kokkola. In 2019, Kallio participated in the Finlayson Art Area exhibition in Tampere and, in 2018, the Mänttä Art Festival.
Although Kallio’s work isn’t a pure representation of abstract expressionism, her kinship to the movement is obvious. She paints with her entire body. The artist’s movements and physical dimensions are visible in the finished paintings. Fierce strokes, gushing paint and vivid surfaces of colour make for rich and delicious artworks. What is essential is that for Kallio, beauty is not insignificant. Beauty is worth pursuing, but it is this pursuit, rather than the achieved end result, that Kallio depicts in her art.
Kallio’s choices of colours and motifs closely connect her paintings to the present day, even though they have a nostalgic undertone. They display the scattered world around us, while looking back wistfully for something whole and beautiful that perhaps once existed. The symbolics of Emmi Kallio’s paintings reveal similar thoughts of confusion and anxiety that many of us have when seeing the news every day. However, this does not put an end to the end-of-the-world party.