Päivikki Alaräihä / Antti Nyyssölä
26 May  – 19 Jun  2016
Päivikki Alaräihä’s exhibition Quite Alike, Not Soft features paintings on canvas, a wall painting, and an artwork consisting of a surface in two different spaces.

The works on canvas are constructed of several layers of paint. Their sparse, pared down idiom focuses on abstract forms that initially appear to be familiar, but upon closer inspection the viewer’s attention is drawn first to the relationship between the shining fields of colour and their subtle changes when from one surface to another. The blue surfaces painted in different ways resemble the sky reflected on calm water. A strong and smooth, almost immaterial grey rectangle surrounded by colour surface creates an impression of depth. The works on show deal in various ways with the themes of viewing, juxtaposition and site-specificity. The subtle and reduced visual idiom is precise and light.

The title of the exhibition refers to how the works are interpreted. Their components are meaningful in relation to each other, and the individual entity, the artwork, is always the sum of its parts. This phenomenon also functions between the works: they can be compared and their meaning can change along with their setting. In the exhibition, the gallery is divided into two different spaces: an upper and a lower level. These spaces are of different character and the works seek to conform to and emphasize their specific characteristics. The individual paintings and their surrounding location are equal factors for Alaräihä in the exhibition as a whole. The artworks create a network comprehensively exploring the act of viewing and the space concerned.

Päivikki Alaräihä (born 1981 in Yli-Ii) lives and works in Helsinki. She graduated as Master of Fine Arts from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2015 and has held solo exhibitions at Galleri Sinne in 2015, XL – Art Space in 2013 and the Wäinö Aaltonen Museum in 2010, among other venues. 

Hanna Huitu

Antti Nyyssölä’s exhibition is in two parts.

The first part consists of artist’s books containing drawings, collages, copies of works, frottages, paintings and all kinds of things. In these books Nyyssölä is interested not only in the dimension of time involved in browsing and moving from one set of facing pages to another but also in the layeredness of structure, narrativeness and the manner of existence that is specific to books in comparison with other kinds of works. Individual fragments and elements, perhaps even meaningless in themselves, collide in books, creating a visually rich cartography appealing to the sense of touch and the viewer’s own experiences and associations. They may contain notes like entries in a diary or travel journal, but the main consideration is to create new connections between things, objects and phenomena, or to highlight previously unnoticed ones. The complex construction of the books – binding, cutting, gluing, drawing and painting – also finds a parallel in the electronic stream of images of the Internet and the selections that are made from it.

The second part consists of separate artworks mounted on the walls. The central features of these works are on the one hand focus on individual materials, and on the other hand the role of craftsmanship and techniques developed by the artist himself. The painted surface of corrugated cardboard attached to corrugated sheet metal contains multiple elements of classic stripe painting, but interpreted in a new way. Though inspired by the tradition of abstract painting, these works are more complex in terms of interpretation than might first be assumed. When everyday materials – corrugated cardboard, plastic wrap, tape – became those of a work of art, they will represent themselves on the one hand, and on the other hand be purged of their quotidian nature. The painting represents an abstract painting, or repeats a form already abstracted from a concrete object (cross). An interesting aspect of Nyyssölä’s works is a kind of hovering at a borderline, an overlap of things and the moment of recognition when the abstract becomes figurative, or vice versa.

Antti Nyyssölä (born 1982, Helsinki) studied at the Universität der Künste in Berlin in 2009 and graduated as Master of Fine Arts from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2013.

Ilona Anhava