Now through August 7, Rare Gallery is presenting Fin(n)ish: Fresh contemporary art from Finland. This group exhibition features work from six emerging Finnish artists—Ville Andersson, Hanna Kanto, Katri Mononen, Aleksi Tammi, Timo Vaittinen, and Ea Vasko. The work presented here is stylistically wide reaching and employs a variety of mediums and techniques, speaking to the vitality of the Finnish art world.
This show seeks to distill the essence of the Finnish aesthetic landscape, offering a platform to young artists to address the qualities of a world unfamiliar to many North American audiences. Ville Andersson’s Reflection, for example, is a haunting portrait, testing the photograph’s potential for capturing the ephemeral. Momentum throws a body backwards into an anonymous space of deep grey tones, while a twisted, almost frightening grace settles over the subject’s alien and explicitly human form. The photograph’s unnerving aspect is reinforced by the disorientation of shadow, surface, and layers against or into which the body is tossed. In Aleksi Tammi’s Port a similar sense of the abyss is channeled, as a single erect form stands tall on a shoreline.
Ea Vasko’s works emit a stillness and quietude, serving as a sort of refuge from the absorbing energy of the multitude of works on display. A landscape or horizon is suggested, utilizing the impossible infinity of sky overhead. The color invites the viewer to linger, to dive into the softness of this surface. Though Vasko’s work is positioned as one of the first on view in the gallery, its placement in this more trafficked area seems to dissuade the viewer’s pause in front of the work.
Across the work presented here, solemnity and play, movement and stillness are in constant conversation. As in Kanto’s Pink House, there is a refreshing devotion to the subject and the possibilities for rendering fantasy visible. Pervasive, occasionally bewildering sensations are drawn out from simple form and movement, while an expanding sense of the capacity of art to facilitate a relationship with the magical can almost always be detected.
The photographs of Vasko, installations by Vattinen, and paintings by Kanto all express vastly different subjects, from landscapes to dark and twisted corners of the human psyche. The work speaks to a diverse and energetic atmosphere of the Finnish art world, and its suggestive and fantastical range of energy and sensibility in this exhibit leave a particular sense of curiosity, prompting the viewer to delve further into this rich wealth of talent.
— A. Corrigan
Exhibition Page [RARE Gallery]