A trip to Helsinki’s Kiasma part 1: Maija Luutonen
Helsinki! 09.02.2018 – 29.07.2018: Exhibition Patch from Maija Luutonen. The journey is the destination. Artist Fleur Helluin brings KALTBLUT in the heat of the action – Helsinki in February. Finland’s premium contemporary art museum Kiasma teamed up with the private foundation Kordelin to create an innovative program for a young Finnish artist. Combining a substantial grant, an exhibition and production assistance, its goal is to create a powerful platform to promote the Finnish art scene.
The first one to benefit the program is Maija Luutonen. Born in 1978, she graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2006. In her works primarily paper-based, she adresses the relation between time and movement. She evokes spatial immersion and our relation to the built-environment and nature.
The exhibition space that was allowed for the show is a white cube with a 9 meter high ceiling with a view on the square Mannheim Statue of a horserider. At about half of the wall’s height, a balcony in one of the above floors gives the possibility of a higher point of view. Maija Luutonen gathers a series of works in two vertical layers, allowing different points of view (floor and balcony). Ten large vertical panels of 280 x 140 cm are arranged in groups. Three positioned in the middle of the first wall.
Another two are in the middle of the wall with windows, also in the vertical middle of the wall. Three are in front of the window on the floor, blocking the light a little bit. The wall in front of the window hosts a blue-gridded panel put horizontally (but it feels like it’s also vertical if you know what I mean). There are fabrics hanging from the last panel situated on the left wall. Other silk fabrics are hanging on a metallic structure. There’s also a fake bench in concrete, plasters of shoe soles and a Japanese weight to hold one of the silk fabrics.
The works can be arranged in many different ways, explains Luutonen. They are the product of a long process that she lead between her studio in Helsinki and a residency in Japan. The esthetic vocabulary, with the airbrushed surfaces, stripes, monochromatic organic patterns, and object associations is rooted in a mix of 70’s Scandinavian design tradition and post-internet propositions. Maija Luutonen tells me that a big part of her practice is spent in a meditative flow in which she lets the elements come to her. This preparation takes up to 90% of her process. She is shy in giving references as well as indications about what is the vision behind her works, preferring to let us wonder in a in-between world of geometric elements, odd everyday objects casts and cloudy textures.
Maija Luutonen’s show Patchopened the same day as There and Back again, a group show of Baltic sea region artists (including my favorite Kris Lemsalu (see the Polaroid photo) and Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe’s Stardust, curated by Jari-Pekka Vanhala. Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe’s show Russian Stardust is visible at Kiasma from 09.02.2018 – 29.07.2018. Another article is dedicated to Mamyshev-Monroe’s show, check it out!
Views of Luutonen’s studio in Helsinki.
WHAT? Exhibition Patch from Maija Luutonen WHERE? Kiasma Contemporary Art Museum in Helsinki WHEN? 09.02.2018 – 29.07.2018