Mia Enell – Split

Mia Enell – Split

Nino Mier Gallery is thrilled to announce an exhibition of paintings and drawings by Mia Enell, on view in Brussels from September 7 – October 28, 2023. Surveying work from 2017 – 2022, Split is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. In the work on view, Enell creates a visual lexicon redolent both of the iconic pop imagery of comics and illustration, and of surrealism’s inquiries into the bizarre machinations of subconscious thought. Through Enell’s use of wordplay, unexpected juxtapositions, and imaginative distortions of everyday objects, the exhibition reveals the strange substrata of everyday human experience.

Though Enell’s artistic practice includes photography, video, installation and sculpture, her recent work is marked by a sparse surreality. Each composition features a central object or figure – or a hybrid of the two – floating in the void of a monochromatic ground. Enell strips her subjects of any surrounding atmosphere as though they were objects of study, offered to viewers for their undistracted contemplation.

Whether haunting or sweetly funny, Enell’s compositions often feature altered subjects and objects. Split Bed (2019), for instance, represents a double bed that has been cleaved through the middle to expose a marbled, meaty interior. Here, the venue of restful dreams, intimacy, and carnality is shot through with a threat of violence imagined with Enell’s soft touch. In Somehow connecting (2019), by contrast, two figures with multiple malformed heads reach out to lock hands with each other in a touching display of attachment.

Like the Surrealists who preceded her, Enell uses language as a point of inquiry in her practice. Works such as Man eater (2019) and Nosy (2022) literalize common turns-of-phrases, exposing the surreality intrinsic to language itself. Elsewhere, she imbues her works with irreverent humor through her titles, as in Scissors Bad (2022), which functions like a reprimand of the corresponding drawing of anthropomorphized scissors. The scissors stare at the viewer with innocent, unblinking eyes as if cheekily whispering, “who, me?”

Like stray, often strange ideas that drift through semi-conscious thought, Enell’s drawings and paintings are novel negotiations of language and the material world. Issuing through her formal constraints, Enell’s subjects are imbued with a delicate, quiet charge—one that each viewer will activate in their own way.

Mia Enell (b. 1967, in Gothenburg, Sweden; lives and works in New York, NY) is a graduate from Nyckelvik Art School in Stockholm (1987) and received her DSNAP (MFA equivalent) from ENSBA: the Art Academy “Beaux-Arts” in Paris (1992). Enell has held solo exhibitions with Bienvenu Steinberg & J, New York, NY, US; Center for Openness and Dialogue, Tirana, ALB; Emmanuel Barbault Gallery, New York, NY; Edward Mitterrand Gallery, Geneva, CH; Son Espace Gallery, Girona, ES; Luxe Gallery, New York, NY, US; UP&CO, New York, NY, US and London, UK; National Nordic Museum (two-person exhibition), Seattle, WA, US; among others. Her work has been included in group exhibitions at The Drawing Room Biennial, London, UK; Carlier Gebauer Gallery Berlin, DE; Colgate University Museum, New York, NY; Kulturhuset, Stockholm, SE; National Hellenic Museum, Chicago, US: Elga Wimmer Gallery; New York, NY, US; Third Streaming, New York, NY, US; Musée des Beaux Arts, Mons, BE; Quai Malaquais, ENSBA, Paris, FR; Centre Regional d’Art Contemporain, Sète, FR; among others. Enell has works included in collections around the world, including Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, US; National Public Art Agency, Stockholm, SE; Caisse des Dépôts et Consignation, Paris, FR; FNAC – Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, FR, among others. 

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