Miikka Vaskola
5 Feb – 8 May 2016

The year 2016 at Turku Art Museum opens with an exhibition by Miikka Vaskola (b. 1975, Helsinki), one of the most talented painters of his generation. Vaskola graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008, and has exhibited his works in solo and group exhibitions in Finland and internationally. Featuring works from his early career to the present, the exhibition in Turku Art Museum is the first extensive survey of Vaskola’s entire output.

Employing a primarily brown and grey palette, Vaskola’s large-format works are characterised by a skilful use of materials and a sense of the presence of a lost world. The paintings are often based on old archival images, and Vaskola spends in fact a lot of time in archives perusing their materials. He paints representational motifs as well as works that hover between the abstract and the figurative. This ambiguity allows viewers to fill in the missing parts in their mind, to discover different time levels and even localities in the paintings.

Vaskola’s practice is slow: it may take him two or even three years to finish one piece. ‘I have to try again, wipe things out and remove wrong solutions. It takes time, but it also makes visible the time, the process of searching, in the works,‘ Vaskola describes his method. Vaskola does not have a clear picture in his mind when he works, the paintings evolve during the process and sometimes the result surprises even the artist himself.

The lack of a stretcher frame in some of Vaskola’s works undermines traditional ideas about painting, while their technical mastery points up the same. Vaskola wants to achieve more than just an illusion of depth painted on white ground. He paints on an unprimed canvas ‘to turn the work inwards instead of towards the viewer. The paint is absorbed by the fibres of the canvas, and that tiny distance of a mere millimetre or so is enough to give the picture a “natural” sense of depth.’ Vaskola’s aesthetic and mysterious paintings demand time and presence on the viewer’s part. At the same time, they compel the viewer’s mind to move between the present and the past, to look for closeness and search for distance.

Two interesting special tours of the exhibition are held (in Finnish) during the spring: on Saturday 6 February at 2 pm the exhibition is presented by Miikka Vaskola and Mika Hannula, and on Saturday 23 April at 2 pm the tour guides are two artists from Turku, Erika Adamsson and Laura Miettinen. For more information, visit the museum website.



Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2019