Jiri Geller
11 Jun – 12 Sep 2010
Turku Art Museum presents in its Studio works by Jiri Geller (b. 1970). The exhibition Magic consists of works such as life-like black and white balloons which hover over their pedestals and group of tiny 3-D stars named Magic from 2010. These enchanting works are simple yet captivatingly beautiful. Their shapely surfaces are meticulously crafted which all tells of Geller’s talent in making sculptural fantasies out of everyday. Although the outcome seems simple and easy the silversmith trained artists uses countless hours in planning and making these magical moments possible.

Jiri Geller’s works from the beginning of the decade were large-scale installations spanning from real size escalator stairs named God Says No (2001) to sculptural remake of Hokusai’s (1760–1849) famous woodcut of the great wave. This Jiri Geller’s magnificent work, The Big Time (2005), is displayed in Win Aaltonen’s museum in Turku in a 100th Jubileum exhibition of the Association of Finnish Sculptors this summer. Later Geller started to make smaller works presenting skulls, heads of Donald Duck and eventually balloons, all the time working on variations of the selected theme.

Ultimately the balloons started to live in the space. Sometimes the balloon has been left freeze-framed on its side, on other occasions it is just about to start its ascend into sky or simply lies shattered. The balloons named Happy (2009) and Dunkelheit VII (2009) are the culmination of this long process. The laws of physics are bent into extremes in these miraculous objects. Thorough planning, lightweight fiber glass and shiny industrial paints help the artist to achieve his goals. The works might seem factory made but in reality Geller constructs them with pedantic precision in his atelier in Helsinki. No wonder, that a visitor might brush her eyes when confronting the motioning works in the exhibition space.
Jiri Geller’s production is the art of illusion – gaining momentum – work by work. In his artwork Magic he has created an aura around the sculptural object. The air shimmers with mystery around the tiny stars. Geller has used precision-like 3-D printing techniques in making the parts fit the whole and in the end he has casted the stars into plastic and has devised a self-supporting structure. The painstakingly finished surface brings the illusion into being and the viewer can experience a small miraculous moment where everything feels possible.     

Artist's talk

Thursday, 9 September 2010, starting at 2pm, Jiri Geller will give a talk in Finnish about his artistic practice in the Kuvateatteri of the Turku Arts Academy (Linnankatu 54–60), Turku. Admission is free and the meeting is open to the public.
Turun taidemuseo, Aurakatu 26, 20100 Turku, Puh. 02 2627 100. © 2019