BRONZE and PRINTS 22.2.-15.9.2013

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Exhibition history 2010-2014
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The exhibition shows us sculptures casted in bronze and graphic drafts from the Jenny and Antti Wihuri Foundation Art Collection. Emphasized in contemporary art, the collection contains art made by traditional but also by fully new methods. The artists are among leading professional artists in Finland.

Castings

A bronze sculpture is usually produced in the following way, first the artist forms the sculpture in clay, then a mold is made according to this model and finally the melted metal is poured into this mold. The final casting takes place in a workshop specialized in casting.

This technique gives good possibilities to create many different shapes. The athlete sculptures of Mikko Hovi are smoothly plastic but Laila Pullinen’s interpretation of Ida Alberg waves like the folding of cloth while the shiny and ragged surface varies. She perfects her art work by patinating or lustring it. Tapio Junno has lustred the light sections of his works revealing us the fact how a dazzling light excludes all shapes from our sight. The surface looking like fur or feather cover in Hannele Kylänpää’s and Nina Terno’s animal sculptures has been made by leaving mold pulp on the ragged surface of the art work.

A sculpture casted in metal is durable and casting gives many possibilities to form even thin shapes. In Pekka Kauhanen’s sculpture Beneath the Northern Sky, thin legs hold up a heavy, bronze, round object. Juha Ojansivu has formed a table cloth of bronze.

Prints

Letterpress means wood- and linocuts where the color shifts to the printing paper from the raised parts of the plate. The woodcuts of Ulla Virta and Antti Tanttu are often large and such are Tuija Arminen’s abstract woodcuts. Kari Laitinen has studied old Japanese watercolor woodcut technique and his art works follow thoroughly traditional methods. Merja Aletta Ranttila takes a freer attitude to her linocuts by painting on them.

Rotogravure means an image etched or carved on a copper or zinc plate. The art works of Tuulikki Pietilä and Pentti Lumikangas have been made by drypoint technique when the images are scratched on a metal plate. The printing line is hairy rough. In etching, the line is etched on the plate with acid. The line is even as Simo Hannula’s varied works show. Aquatint makes larger shade surfaces. There the metal plate is etched with acid, too. In his large aquatint prints, Lauri Rankka has been able to get interesting slides from dark to light. Usually, different plates are etched for different color sections. Both etching and aquatint are often used in graphic works, as Esa Riippa in his colorful still-lives. In mezzotint the surface of the plate is grinded with a mezzotint iron. The more the plate is grinded, the darker and more velvety the print quality will be, as in Antti Salokannel’s sun hats. In her mezzotint masks, Marjatta Nuoreva has used drypoint to remark the lines.
To create their large prints, Eeva-Liisa Isomaa and Virve Lilja have used the soft-ground method where the wax applied on the plate reproduce precisely all pressings. In carborundum, the image is painted on the plate with glue and carborundum sand, as in Jaana Erkkilä’s and Aino Pajari’s prints. Visa Norros or any other artist paints an image directly on the plate and prints it on the paper with a press. This is called a monotype. There will not be another similar print, only one.

Lithoprinting means shifting an image, drawn or painted, on the paper. Usually the plate is limestone and we talk about lithographs. In offset printing zinc plate is used. The plate is treated chemically to absorb the greasy chalk. Many painters like Tuomo Saali and Risto Suomi favour lithoprinting because the print may be very paintinglike.

Silk-screen or serigraphy is a technique where the color is spread through a sieve cloth tightened on a frame. This method is used largely in textile figuring. Primarily, the concretists of Finland, Sam Vanni, Timo Aalto and Lars-Gunnar Nordström have favoured this technique because of its clear and smooth color surfaces.

Along photography, there are many new printing methods like polymer gravure, in the exhibition made by Marjatta Hanhijoki, photo-etching by Tuula Lehtinen and heliogravure by Janne Laine.