Friday, April 20, 2007
I will show reproductions of Jukka Korkeila only now and i promise i will write about her in my next post. i believe i feel in love...
Finnish artists, Marika Holm, Juha Metso, Topi Ruotsalainen and Elina Sarlin. Their distinctly individual works comprise an inventive statement reflecting Finnish art today.
The exhibition is presented by the American Scandinavian Society and the recently opened Trygve Lie Gallery.
“We want to give a chance to talented, mostly young, artists who haven’t been shown in New York yet. We emailed art schools and other institutions in Finland and received lots of applications of which these four artists were selected. The most important criteria were originality and ability of the artists,” Elfi von Kantzow Alvin, curator of the exhibition, says.
Every artist has a distinctive style.
Marika Holm’s paintings seek to reflect both life and her work as an act of passage. Her bold and explosive use of color creates a powerful though intimate presence.
Juha Metso is one of few Finnish professional photographers who have managed to combine hectic daily newspaper work and highprofile artistic output. The photographer of numerous exhibitions staged in Finland and abroad has also been awarded as the Photographer of the Year 2000.
Topi Ruotsalainen studies how society today portrays men and male identity. Interpreting the status and manifestation of contemporary manhood, diverse individual figures are placed in a group or a crowd, which also presents them in he context of community or their separateness from others.
Elina Sarlin’s paintings attempt to grasp a moment and capture the life’s fleeting indicators. By using refined colors, her dream-like shapes and figures seem to drift weightlessly, moving from a concrete image to an ethereal state.
Male Identity Under Construction
Topi Ruotsalainen, 26, is one of the four Finnish artists whose works will be presented in the upcoming exhibition at the Trygve Lie Gallery in New York.
In his works, Ruotsalainen studies how present-day society represents men and male identity.
“The paintings portray different groups of men in different situations. In some works, the group is solid and reflects the feeling of togetherness, whereas in some an individual is separated from others.”
“For example, in the exhibition there will be a picture of two men standing next to each other however concentrating on drinking their own beverages. I guess that’s a quite typical way of getting drunk in Finland.”
During his studies, Ruotsalainen used to work as a guide at Ateneum Art Museum in Helsinki. The museum is home to the largest art collection in Finland, featuring works all the way from the 18th century Rococo portraiture to the experimental art movements of the present century.
Topi Ruotsalainen’s painting “In the Changing Room of Elves” (Tonttujen pukuhuonessa) depict common people dressing up as heroes in Christmas. “Sometimes it’s easier to remember loved ones behind the mask of Santa Claus than to be oneself in a role of a benefactor”, Ruotsalainen states.
Historic pieces hanging on the old walls have also inspired Ruotsalainen, often in a playful way.
“I have picked up ideas for themes and techniques. For example, I have used a similar composition as Akseli Gallen-Kallela has used in his painting “Boy and Crow”. Less than two years ago there was an extensive jubilee exhibition of Albert Edelfelt at the museum that inevitably put me under the influence of his style.”
Ruotsalainen has recently graduated from the University of Art and Industrial Design, Helsinki, majoring in art education.
Since last fall he has been working as a scholar at Art Center Salmela in Mäntyharju, Eastern Finland. The Center provides short-term in-residence scholarships for young talented artists in music, literature and visual arts.
In future, Topi Ruotsalainen intends to fully concentrate on his art projects. The next large solo exhibition takes place in Mikkeli in December.
“I am a qualified art teacher but I can’t start teaching yet. I have too many ideas to realize at first.”