This exhibition by visual artist Ilkka Väätti (born 1955) of Tampere presents his most recent work from the years 2017–2020. Consisting of over thirty paintings and two ‘architectons’, Hommage, is based on his interpretation of works by the best-known artists in the history of modern art and other less noted names. The paintings serving as examples represent geometric abstractionism from the period 1906–1940.
Ilkka Väätti began his career as an artist in the late 1970s and his works have been on show in dozens of solo and group exhibitions in Finland and abroad. He is a painter and printmaker who also constructs architectons. For Väätti, the latter are works influenced by architecture that combine painting and sculptural expression. Väätti is also known as a researcher and a pedagogue in the visual arts.
In his artistic expression, Ilkka Väätti operates between abstraction and freely reduced figurative motifs. His works are mostly executed in strong basic colours. Although they are abstract, they all find starting points in the history of art. Väätti’s Mundus series, on which he has worked since 1993 is based on his artistic reinterpretations of the masters of art history and practitioners. On the other hand, Hommage, the original idea of which emerged in the early 2000s. is based on new interpretations of modernist works of art.
Aapo Huhta is an artist photographer working in Helsinki. He graduated as Master of Fine Arts from Aalto University in 2015. Huhta focuses on experimental documentarism. The art of books of photography and related experiments with different methods and narratives are important aspects of his works. Huhta has published two books of photographs, Block (Kehrer Verlag, 2015) and Omatandangole (Kehrer Verlag, 2019) and has held solo exhibitions in Finland, Germany and Sweden. Aapo Huhta is the 36th Young Artist of the Year.
’I photographed the works for my first two books in New York and in the desert of Namibia. The themes on which I work are not completely clear to me when I start. This vagueness is one is of the things that I enjoy most in photography — it leads me beyond my own imagination. It is necessary to lose my way. I find the greatest satisfaction if I finally find my way, if I myself learn to understand what my photographs are ultimately about. That is when the piece is finished, having formed itself as it were.
I often find myself creating photographs in which familiar things become unfamiliar, the everyday becomes unreal, or things just look strange. In my photographs, man is often lost. Even though everything around us is chaotic and disintegrating, it is possible to discover and make photographs that show it all as perfect and pristine, completely different from what reality seems to be. Maybe the perfect moment captured by the camera was after all true for an instant — like unattainable bliss, which always disappears as fast as it has appeared.’
The exhibition Space Works is part of the Backlight 2020, Related Realities photographic art event. Space Works explores and tests our relationship with outer space. It consists of contemporary artworks addressing the themes of hope and opportunity as well as the threats and suspicion that we associate with the infinite universe beyond our home planet.
The exhibition is produced by Backlight 2020, the Hasselblad Center of Sweden and the Tampere Art Museum. Space Works is curated by Louise Wolthers, Sara Walker and Melanie Vandenbrouck together with Maija Tammi and Hannu Vanhanen.
In honour of the centenary of the Tampere Artists’ Association, the Tampere Art Museum will hold an exhibition extending to all three floors of the museum and present works from the whole history of the association. The chronological focus will be on work by young artists under 35.
The Tampere Artists’ Association is Finland’s second oldest still active association of professional artists. It has currently 284 members (as of January 2019). The association is an advocacy group for artists in the Pirkanmaa region, and through national-level organisations in its field in the whole of Finland. It seeks to develop and promote opportunities for artists to work, organise training for its members and maintain opportunities for artists to exhibit their works.
The Tampere Artists’ Association was established in 1920 to enliven cultural pursuits in Tampere and to support the work of professionally active artists. Painter Gabriel Engberg became the Association’s first chairman, serving in this capacity for some twenty years. Engberg was also the keeper of the Tampere Art Museum from 1930 to 1953.
In its early years, the Artists’ Association was not just a society for visual artists. Instead, its members represents all areas of the arts. It also included amateur artists and other individuals interested in culture. In 1943, the association became an organisation uniquely meant for visual artists.
The Tampere Artists’ Association focused on organising meetings with programmes and celebrations in its early stages. Exhibition activities were impaired by the lack of a permanent venue for art exhibitions. The first space specifically designed for art exhibitions was built in 1925 in connection with the Tampere City Library (present-day Cultural House Laikku).