Painted Desert

Nanna Hänninen, who has played a pivotal role within the Helsinki School since the late 1990’s, was one of the first Finnish female artists to work conceptually, utilizing the photographic process to realize large abstract images. Her earlier works from 2000-2004 facilitated the development of photography as a conceptual language in the same tones as Wolfgang Tillmans.

In her Painted Desert series, the photographs oscillate between the depiction of reality and illusion. Rather than being straightforward representations of the landscape, they are reflections on pictorial reality. With the opportunity to traverse across the Joshua Tree National Park, among many other national parks in the the US, Nanna Hänninen documented the surrounding natural spaces, reflecting on our relationship with landscape and nature. As the most responsive ecology to the ever-changing climate, the volatile fluctuations place organic desert life in danger of extinction as they are hit with rising temperatures and severe droughts.