The drawings of the Finnish artist Maria Ångerman, produced using a clear and continuous line, represent the figure of a young woman, the artist herself, floating in an infinite space. What at first seems to be an absence of context quickly become limitless potential scenarios. This effect of being nowhere is also a space for colouring in which all landscapes are possible – including human landscapes – and in which each new setting will tell a different story.

Ångerman’s drawings are a fertile disassociation of the artist and her image. The other Ångerman seems to have escaped into another world that is governed by different co-ordinates. The self-absorbed subject has her own life, sometimes behind our back, breaking the conventions of decorum in an everyday gesture such as re-arranging her underwear, as if it were somehow possible to hide in such a void, and on other occasions relating directly with the gallery space. In some of her wall drawings, Maria Ångerman’s figures possess the quality of being inscribed on the constructions, of appearing in the space with surprising naturalness – for example reaching for a light switch.

The choice of drawing is presented to us as being a very productive strategy. The deliberately concrete stroke and the absence of colour mean that the line that indicates the outline is the only thing that separates the figure from the plane. As there is no external element that will serve as a reference, the size alone indicates her position in relation to us. The axes around which her work develops are line, proportion and space; elements that are only eloquent as a result of their relationship with each other and the viewer. This also occurs in animations, for example. When the artist arranges the scenes in a sequence, they become integrated in a unit of space and time and it becomes clear whether the figure is moving away from us or towards us. In her work on the wall, the narrative sequence is not composed of a series of images but by the dialogue that the figure establishes with the elements provided by the exhibition space, while at the same time, its position in the space enables us to decipher the scale and the place that we occupy in relation to it.

Chus Martínez,
curator of Vostestaqui, La Virreina, Barcelona, 2001