Photo: Marjatta Tapiola: Maalaus, 2021
Time: The artists will be present between 12:00 and 14:00
Gallery open hours: 12:00-16:00
Location: Galerie Forsblom, Yrjönkatu 22, 00120 Helsinki
No pre-registration required.
Marjatta Tapiola (b. 1951) celebrates corporeality in her latest paintings, which reprise the signature motifs that have become synonymous with her work throughout her career: animal skulls and ancient mythological figures such as the minotaurs and centaurs. Legendary for her superb command of line, Tapiola allows her brush to dance instinctively upon the surface of the canvas, invoking by turns the world of carnal indulgence as well as the more brutal realities of mortal flesh. Some of her new paintings are more abstract than ever before, her spontaneous treatment of the brush transforming representational elements into mere abstract hints of what is portrayed. Tapiola’s effortless dance with the brush is rich in powerful contrasts, invoking stirring interpretations that leave the viewer breathless in their profundity. The content of her paintings swings between extremes, exuding both raw power and well-nigh brutal directness as well as exquisite delicateness and vulnerability.
Tapiola’s palette combines deep reds, oranges, and purples with a spectrum of paler, more neutral hues. Tapiola mixes her own pigments just as Caravaggio and Rembrandt did back in the day, infusing her contemporary paintings with the timeless quality of Classical Antiquity. By choosing tempera as her technique, Tapiola is able to capture the perfect nuances of tone and radiance. By priming her own canvases, she forges a direct physical relationship with each painting and its dimensions.
Tapiola became established in the 1980s as a leading Finnish proponent of neo-expressionism. She received the Pro Finlandia medal in 2004 and the Finnish State Art Prize in 2006. Her work is found in leading Finnish museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma and the Sara Hildén Art Museum. Tapiola is based on her family estate in Sysmä.
In his new exhibition, Memo, Jussi Goman (b.1980) shares his meditations on how memories tend to be gilded by the passage of time. The artist describes how this theme took shape: “Memo draws inspiration from the aesthetic style of notebooks. I’m always doing quick sketches in my notebooks. Whether dashed off first thing in the morning or the middle of a bus ride, each sketch feels vital to preserve on paper the moment I’m doing it. So my latest paintings are essentially corrected versions of my spontaneous jottings.”
Also featured is a selection of ceramic sculptures executed in the same wild, colorful style as Goman’s paintings, as if giving a three-dimensional form to the menagerie of wild animals, weird organisms, and other imaginary creatures that populate his painted canvases. Out-of-place elements such as riotously protruding flowers and eyeballs are paired with still-life conventions, imbuing the sculptures with absurd energy. Goman’s bold, whimsical approach is underscored by his adventurous fusions of materials and use of spray paints, which transform each sculpture into something new and unexpected.
Goman graduated from Helsinki’s Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. His work is found in major Finnish museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki Art Museum HAM, and the Saastamoinen Foundation Collection. He is the 2020 winner of the William Thuring Foundation Prize, and this year he will complete a major public commission for the City of Riihimäki.