RITVA LARSSON (FI)
Finnish artist Ritva Larsson stands out for her social commitment, denouncing violence and abuse. She digs into unspoken powerlessness and leads the observer to reflect on the reasons behind any acts of violence, which appear as an ultimate and desperate scream asking to be understood or listened to.
Female faces with bruised eyes and sad expressions contrasting with a gloomy background are commonly depicted on her canvas. These are depicted with a very personal technique, made of dense impasto and rapid brush strokes that, together with dark tones, manage to evoke the same sense of pain, fear and loneliness experienced by several women in a patriarchal and chauvinist society. Women represented by Larsson are turned towards the spectators, but they do not stare at anyone: desolate emptiness can be traced in their eyes. This is probably what strikes the observers the most, who are faced to frozen figures, closed in on themselves and incapable to ask for help. In this way, the artist expresses with extreme realism the situation of a lot of women, who, paralysed by shame and fear, cannot escape their submissive condition and pursue their personal fulfilment.
Larsson chooses for her artworks women of all ages — old, young and middle-aged, and this is to point out with emblematic evidence that violence is a social issue affecting this whole gender category. This issue also goes beyond any social classes.
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