Marleen Suvi’s exhibition “No more love letters in our time”

Starting July 9, the Artrovert Gallery presents Marleen Suvi’s solo exhibition “No More Love Letters in Our Time,” which revives intimate youth memories on totemic canvases.

Adolescence is notoriously difficult. Difficult to go through, difficult to watch from the sidelines. It’s even difficult to explain why it’s so difficult (‘hormones raging’ is not much of an explanation). Equally difficult is depicting it in a way that doesn’t come across as cheesy or cloying. This kind of ethereal experience requires both a poetic sense of boundaries and a sincere heart, so the work doesn’t end up being nostalgic or melodramatic.

Thus, this exhibition is a kind of tightrope walk. “No More Love Letters in Our Time” draws on motifs from Polaroids taken at the end of the artist’s teenage years. Playful experiments with friends, a bathtub full of makeup, a pillow grabbed modestly to cover up — these images attempt to give a glimpse into moments when one thought they were all grown up, but in reality, were just learning how to be.

Enlargements of moments captured on small photo positives start to work on Suvi’s paintings as self-aware acts of remembering — Why photograph that person? Why pose like that? Who am I here? Who are you there? Suvi’s paintings pose questions about images captured on photo paper at moments of impulse, questions that were likely not considered at the time of taking the photo, yet which reveal the complexity of recalling youth. The questions asked by viewers of Suvi’s paintings were not asked by the models themselves. No one remembers the answers anymore. This is the problem of old love letters.

If they were real, all that remains is love.

Read more about the exhibition at our exhibition page.