Ann-Sofie Claesson (b. 1992) explores memory and the passage of time in her paintings and installations. Her work in anchored in the study of basic existential themes such as time, memory, death and family. She slowly applies layer upon layer of paint in a gradual process that deepens her insight into her themes, providing occasion for meditation on the deeper meanings of life and what it fundamentally means to be human. The underlying mood of her paintings is somber and melancholy, springing from an urge to understand life’s ineffabilities. Ultimately, her work poses the question: what is existence, and where does it end?
Claesson often draws material from black-and-white family photos taken by her grandfather, many of which portray deceased relatives. Painting is the artist’s way of reconnecting with lost loved ones – close study of their images rekindles memories. Occasionally she combines her paintings with other materials such as glass, textiles and mirrors. These intervening materials add an extra layer between the painting and the viewer, creating a kind of visual barrier or distortion of the image. Claesson sees this as illustrating the way memories work – they become distorted and change shape over the passing years. Her paintings portray lived life and the countless fragmentary moments that constitute the basis of our existence. Some of her paintings look almost as if they were on the verge of vanishing: the artist has splashed solvent onto the surface, causing the colors to fade and the outlines to lose definition, just as our memories do with the passage of time.
Ann-Sofie Claesson is a Swedish-born artist who graduated from the Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts in 2018. She has held solo exhibitions in both Sweden and Finland and she has exhibited in group exhibitions at venues such as the Museum of Gothenburg, Liljevalchs Kunsthalle, and the Amos Anderson Art Museum.Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Forsblom