NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

My works deal with the themes of presence and absence. I fix pieces of fabric and paper to a painting to hide it from people’s eyes, to protect something that exists and to enable secrets. As the work spreads beyond the traditional image area, I shift attention from the hidden areas to something else. I persuade the viewer to get sidetracked, to get excited about the excess content, the surplus.

In Päivi Allonen’s new works, the two-dimensional surface has become three-dimensional and is no longer rectangular. A brush stroke, a thin tight nylon line and the white torn surface of thick paper are elements of painting, even though they technically utilize a collage technique. Allonen plays skillfully with distances and even almost fully abstract paintings allow one to focus their eyes near or far. The layered composition constantly offers the viewer a new perspective, and the rhythm of the work varies depending on what one’s eyes are focused on.

The surface elements have made Allonen’s visual expression freer. Even though the translucent black nylon is surprisingly similar to the artist’s brush strokes, as a material it is more difficult to control. The value variations created by spreading are interesting and their fragility is what makes them exciting. The viewer understands that they could break the composition by touching the work, by stretching its surface.

Allonen has not entirely abandoned landscapes. They can still be seen in the background of the abstract compositions, as a sort of original image that everything is based on. Her landscapes have always varied between the macro and micro levels. Sometimes we explore the surface of plants with a microscope, sometimes we are at the top of a mountain looking down into a valley. More and more often these two levels can be seen in the same work, even at the same time.

Veikko Halmetoja, curator

Gallery name: Galleria Huuto

Address: Eerikinkatu 36 / Kalevankatu 43, Helsinki

Opening hours: Tue-Sun 12:00 - 17:00

Open: 05.03.2021 - 28.03.2021