This exhibition features a pick of Mäkelä’s paintings dating from 1989 to 1995. The 1990s marked a clear watershed in his oeuvre: he started working with charcoal, and new lightness and buoyancy crept into his work. His lines became almost translucent, as if defying gravity with their flightiness, while still retaining a sense of solidity and confidence, always finding the perfect path in the composition. Mäkelä’s lines are not there to enclose or lend contours to forms or colors, rather they are active, autonomous elements that exist unto themselves.
Nature is not confined to the idea of a landscape in Mäkelä’s paintings, which embrace the entire spectrum of the natural world, as evinced by everything from his organic treatment of line to his perceptive use of color. His paintings might take their cue from virtually anything, whether a ray of light or a minuscule detail in an urban setting. The essential point to note is that Mäkelä never regarded himself as something separate from nature – he depicted nature not from the vantage point of an external observer but as an integral part of it.
Jukka Mäkelä received the State Prize in 1977 and 1981 and was awarded the Pro Finlandia medal in 2007. He represented Finland at the 1988 Venice Biennale and exhibited widely at venues including the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Rovaniemi Art Museum, and Oulu Art Museum. His work is represented in notable public collections, including Stockholm’s Moderna Museet, Oslo’s Museum of Contemporary, the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, and the Saastamoinen and the Wihuri Foundation.
Gallery name: Galerie Forsblom Helsinki
Address: Yrjönkatu 22, Helsinki
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 11:00 - 18:00, Sat-Sun 12:00 - 16:00
Open: 05.03.2021 - 04.04.2021