Carola Grahn
Lappland / Mamma (Mom) / Dear Mr. Fontana, 2017

  • Reindeer skin, sinew thread, wooden frame
  • 36 x 51 cm / 51 x 40 cm / 61 x 51 cm
  • Acquired in 2021

Lappland, Mamma and Dear Mr. Fontana were created in 2017 as the initial parts of Carola Grahn’s work series Notes on Hide. Her own identity as a member of the Sámi, an indigenous population from the Sápmi region in northern Fennoscandia, remains a point of reference to which Grahn often returns in her works. For her objects she works with reindeer skin, leather, sinew thread and woolen cloth, materials of the ‘Duodji,’ the traditional Sámi handicraft, transforming (animal-based) natural materials into minimalist-abstract image objects. The work Dear Mr. Fontana adopts the canonically radical gesture of cutting the canvas, which Lucio Fontana made famous in the 1960s: Fontana’s cuts in his ‘Tagli’ were formally precise and usually executed on monochrome, evenly applied color surfaces. Grahn, on the other hand, chooses a stretched reindeer skin as the ground, thus creating through the act of cutting not only the formal impression of a minimalist image but also evoking the infliction of injury on an animal body.

Carola Grahn

* 1982 Jokkmokk, S
Lives and works in Malmö and New York, USA, S

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