Gunilla Jähnichen: Was ist los?

For her strikingly color-intensive works Gunilla Jähnichen uses highly pigmented, bright acrylic paints and inks on canvas and paper. The visual language of the artist moves in the border area between figuration and dissolution of form. Areas of color, lines, and blots applied in several layers, often vibrating translucently, form the reductionist starting point of her associatively effective depictions of humanoid figures.

They consistently step out of the informality of pure color, but remain shadowy and often foreshortened to fixed movements of the face: Minimal settings of strokes and dots become markings of anthropomorphic references, eyes and mouths, immediately legible pictograms of emotional states.

Gunilla Jähnichen is concerned with possible forms of representation of human and non-human emotions, which are first reflected as variations of facial expressions and gestures on the elementary level of communication, before they motivate actions in private or social structures.

In her artistically reduced depictions of basic moods, the phenomenon of the use of emojis as cartoonishly abbreviated messages of emotional states in digital communication is also conceived. In their ambivalence and diffuse vagueness, her paintings as well as her sculptures dock onto the communicative ambiguity of visual pictorial codes.