NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

This September, Miikka Vaskola’s Shore to Shore exhibition brings new paintings and sculptures to Helsinki Contemporary. The paintings, made in earthy tones on canvas, occupy the middle ground between abstract and figurative, exploring the limits of our perception. The artist’s gaze sweeps from a universal to a microcosm scale, outside of time and space.

The title of the exhibition, Shore to Shore, refers very concretely to the two islands between which Vaskola divided his time while working on the exhibition paintings, but also to “the way the light travels from a star to the eye”. For Vaskola, painting is a platform and a possibility for investigating something new, a way of seeking answers and of trying to understand.

The body of works now on display consists of several series. One new series in this exhibition is a set of collages that Vaskola has assembled out of fragments of his old works. In the plant still lifes and shiny metal flowerpots in the collage works we can detect echoes of early art history and imagery from the Byzantine era, something that also recurs in Vaskola’s sculptures made out of combinations of wood, epoxy and plaster.

In both their materials and form language, the works oscillate between the organic that draws its strength from nature and the cultural. The works in Shore to Shore are simultaneously present here and now, in the past, and the future, while the silent dialogue between the different series of works in the exhibition space prompts thoughts of the structure of the universe and of our own place in it.

One distinct series here is constituted by the Screen Paintings, which contemplate the limits of perception and of our capacity for observation. Underlying them is a presence that we can sense, but not quite see, and which our gaze fractionally fails to reach.

Miikka Vaskola (b. 1975) is known for paintings combining abstract landscapes with figurative elements. His works have been in group and solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad, most recently including Berg Contemporary in Iceland, the Hydra School Projects on the island of Hydra in Greece, and EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. He had an extensive retrospective exhibition at Turku Art Museum in 2016. In 2021, Vaskola’s works will be in the Embracegroup exhibition curated by Mika Hannula at the Akureyri Art Museum, Iceland, in January and at Norrtälje Konsthall, Sweden, in February. Vaskola’s works are in important private and public collections, including Helsinki Art Museum, HAM, Turku Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, the Heino Art Foundation collection and Wihuri Foundation Art Collection.

Gallery name: Helsinki Contemporary

Address: Bulevardi 10, Helsinki

Opening hours: Tue-Fri 12:00 - 18:00, Sat-Sun 12:00 - 16:00

Open: 04.09.2020 - 27.09.2020