Hobson’s Choice: Selma Makela at PEER

26 January 2012 By

Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society, recommends his favourite exhibition of the week.

4 January – 18 February 2012

PEER, 97& 99 Hoxton Street, London N1 6QL

Wednesday – Saturday 12 – 6pm


I have been an admirer of the work of Selma Makela since her last show at PEER in 2008 so I was delighted to visit her second exhibition of beautiful, quiet paintings which has just opened, again at PEER, just off Hoxton Square on Hoxton Street.  Intimate in scale with jewel-like surfaces, her paintings continue her interest in extreme climatic conditions, often describing seemingly vast and remote frozen spaces in which lone figures struggle to distinguish themselves from blizzard-like conditions.  In her paintings, a small number of which are included in this show, frozen landscapes populated by bears, migrating birds, penguins and comets, and abstracted motifs like geysers, cloud formations and the aurora borealis struggle to establish their representation in a flurry of gestural and loosely worked marks and washes, suggesting an intuitive and unpremeditated practice.  Habitually over-painted to the brink of collapse in a delicate palette of pale blues, pinks, greys, creams and whites, her paintings have a depth and aura which evokes an experience of memory: how a thing can be simultaneously fixed in the mind yet obscured from view.  More of a mood rather an exhibition, don’t miss this show!

Image: © Selma Makela, Meteor, 2010, courtesy the artist and PEER

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