Kari Vehosalo: Terrible Nature
5 Jun – 20 Sep 2015

Kari Vehosalo is known for clinically observed paintings that investigate the power structures of reality and the inner conflicts of human nature. In his most recent paintings and sculptures, threatening and unpredictable nature becomes part of tragicomic human existence in which our lot is to be cast into an environment that rejects us.

The exhibition follows the common thread running through Vehosalo’s entire production: depiction of the pressures that builds up between the contradictoriness of human nature and the private as well as shared social reality. The title Terrible Nature comes from the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679), in which humanity is alienated from nature by the social contract. For Hobbes, nature represents anarchy, continuous war and something that we can overcome by relinquishing our freedom to a sovereign power. In Vehosalo’s art, nature is present both as concrete, depicted nature as well as a metaphor of the inner essence of humanity, our way of being and possessing.

Observing the autopsy of our existence performed by Vehosalo with the detachment and precision of a surgeon, attention is drawn not only to his sovereign technical control, but also his skill of imbuing the works with a charged, passive-aggressive sense of alienation. Pushing the boundaries of unpleasantness, the works are unheimlich, subconsciously familiar yet simultaneously alien, and thereby both terrifying and exciting.

Kari Vehosalo (b. 1982) lives and works in Helsinki. He graduated from the Institute of Fine Art at Lahti University of Applied Sciences in 2008, and earned a Master of Arts degree from Aalto University in 2010. In addition to painting, he also works with photography and assemblage. His works can be found in several private and public collections, including Kiasma, Helsinki Art Museum, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Amos Anderson Art Museum, and the Saastamoinen Foundation Collection.



Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2018