CRAZY FOREST. Finnish Contemporary Art

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Exhibition history 2014-
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A nature can be strange and mysterious as well as very familiar. Nature is a fantastic place that feeds the imaginary. For artists it is an unfailing source, even in contemporary art as in this exhibition.

Artists have always been inspired by forest. For Finns, forest is a very important part of nature. This exhibition tells diversely about forest and it also appeals to people’s imagination. The art works are mainly from the Jenny and Antti Wihuri foundation art collection.

Trees grow in the forest. The abstract landscapes of Jukka Mäkelä are like colorful remembrances. In the photos of Sandra Kantanen and Jorma Puranen the trees are looked through a misty coating or as reflections on a shining surface. Raakel Kuukka’s forest may not be from Finland. I wonder, if there are bears in the forest?

When the sun is setting down in the forest the sounds and shadows feed our imagination and make miraculous creatures. The spruce branches in Aarne Jämsä’s art work wiggle an odd face. In the shades of the forest, secret things may happen. Antti Louhisto’s and Tapani Kokko’s wooden sculptures are cosy but Essi Korva’s animal is rather scary.

A lot of animals live in the forest but they can be seen very rarely. We can imagine animals in the forest, as the weird creatures of Juha Tammenpää. But is it possible to bump into an elephant or a giraffe in a Finnish forest? In Maaria Wirkkala’s ‘Found a Mental Connection’, there is a much more profound meaning than the toy animals let us understand on the first sight.

It is fun to make a trip in a summer forest but it is always wise to prepare oneself for a storm. Kaija Kiuru’s tents in the art work ‘Private’, may not give a shelter for privacy or not even from rain. If you observe birds or butterflies you can note observations in colors like Kristiina Wiherheimo has done.

Our wintry forest is full of snow. Hares are white and so is Pekka Jylhä’s ‘Bearer of Light’. It is so cold that even the clothes freeze in Riitta Päiväläinen’s photos. In spring, they might melt to dance as in the sculptures of Pekka Kauhanen. Petri Hytönen may like skiing and ice fishing.

Picture: Janne Hytönen, Sight of the Skier , 2011. Photo: Arto Liiti, Rovnaiemi Art Museum.

9/19/2014–2/22/2015 11:00 AM–6:00 PM