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Ann Iren Buan

Pusten risper i stillheten

OSL contemporary is proud to present Ann Iren Buan’s second exhibition at the gallery, Pusten risper i stillheten. In her practice, Buan explores the notion of decay and destruction through drawing and sculpture. Monumental, delicate, sensuous and haptic, her work investigates the materiality of drawing in a three-dimensional sculptural expression. Her sculptures are in a continuous process of ruination, a process further reinforced by her choice of materials. Edging towards a point of collapse, the works insist on a continued existence and are often used as elements in new artworks in a cycle of decay and renewal.

'Feelings of matter'

Text by Claudia Buizza

For her second solo show at OSL Contemporary, Ann Iren Buan presents a new body of work, including drawings and a sculptural installation. This show highlights the artist’s ability and deep sensitivity to colour, light, material, and architectural surroundings, engaging the audience in a fusional experience with the works and the gallery space.

At the entrance, a pile of cylindrical agglomerates of similar dimensions, pierced by steel chains, stands acting as a barrier. Some of these fragments are hung from the ceiling, others lie on the ground. Their cracks suggest that a violent impact has taken place, revealing their fragile and friable nature. Recovered from other installations made earlier this year for the exhibitions Hendene våre rakner at Kristiansand Kunsthall and Falm varsomt, hold om oss at Entrée, Bergen, this ensemble carries within it the memory of another experience, another place. According to a logic of recuperation and adaptation the artist gives them a new form, a new life.

The temptation to know if what the eye sees corresponds to what the hand might touch is always strong in Ann Iren Buan’s work, in which the tactile and physical dimension plays a fundamental role both in the creative process and in the result.

Looking closely at these both familiar and abstract bodies, we can appreciate all the properties of the material, glorified by the shades of pigments, ranging from peachy pink to Prussian blue, via various shades of burgundy and periwinkle, a new palette for the artist, with more contrasts and darker tones. The remains of vinyl gloves embedded in chalk appear as archaeological finds, preciously preserved in time. Indestructible human traces that are frightening, yet do not make us feel alone.

Behind this assemblage of tangled and multiform bodies the space opens up to offer a vision of light and colour. At the back of the gallery we find delicately hung the last pastel drawings of the artist, suspended like bed sheets in Venetian streets. These works on paper pursue, in another medium, the artist’s research on the relationship between life and matter, colour and sensation. The visible tears and the variations in the intensity of the pigments evoke a romantic agitation and an expressive gesture in the style of J. M. W. Turner. The surfaces appear deeper, not only because of the staging system that allows to create an empty space between the two layers of the sheet, but also due to the artist’s latest research on colour and technique, and I dare say, her latest moods and desires for landscapes, which we can all share in this time. Again, Ann Iren Buan’s work balances between visual and tactile perception, mind and body, air and earth. She makes us touch lightly the sky and then brings us back down to the ground. It is a circular journey that never stops, between dream and reality.

Pusten risper i stillheten expresses all the complexity, poetry and fragility of our world, like a candle being consumed in a baroque vanitas. We are attracted, hypnotized, we are aware that beyond there is an unfathomable obscurity, yet nothing can distract us from the changing spectacle of light and decay that is life.

Ann Iren Buan (b. 1984, Stjørdal, Norway) lives and works in Oslo, Norway. Recent solo shows include Entrée, Bergen; Kristiansand Kunsthall (2021); The Vigeland Museum, Oslo; Apalazzo, Bercia (2019); OSL contemporary, Oslo; Bazament Art Space, Tirana (2018); Prosjektrom Normanns, Stavanger (2017); Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo; Gallery F15, Moss; Noplace, Oslo (2015); Trøndelag Center of Contemporary Art, Trondheim (2014). Buan has participated in a number of group shows, including Trondheim Kunsthall, Trondheim; The Drawing Triennial hosted by the The Norwegian Drawing Association, Oslo (2019); Palazzo Mazzarino, Palermo (2018); Apalazzo gallery, Brescia (2016); Stavanger Art Museum, Stavanger (2015) and The Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo (2015)

Buan will be a resident at Cité Internationale Des Arts, Paris, spring 2022

Claudia Buizza is an art historian, curator and writer based in Paris. She has realized several exhibitions in France and abroad, collaborating with institutions (Centre Pompidou, La Biennale di Venezia, The National Museum of Kosovo, Institut Français Milan), commercial galleries (SCAI The Bathhouse, Tokyo) and private collections (La Collection de la Société Générale). Since September 2019 she has been working at the Fondation Louis Vuitton. She has contributed to numerous exhibition catalogues, among them: Driant Zeneli. Maybe the cosmos is not so extraordinary, ed. Mousse publishing, 2019; Muséum ON/OFF. Musée l’ont l’eux, ed. Afrikadaa, 2017; Viva Arte Viva ed. La Biennale di Venezia, 2017.