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NOBA Nordic Baltic contemporary art platform

Helsinki Contemporary’s autumn season starts off with Eeva-Riitta Eerola’s The Shape of Things to Come. This exhibition of new paintings is her third solo appearance at the gallery. Eerola’s works continue her investigation into the experiences of perception and recognition, and now the motifs in her paintings take a step back towards the figurative. The serial approach familiar from Eerola’s previous work continues here, the themes being dealt with in increasingly diverse ways.

Eerola explores her subjects by making variations; elements from her small-scale, abstract works recur in the larger painterly gestures in The Shape of Things to Come, opening up and extending the experience of recognition. The forms refer more explicitly to something familiar, to a figure and a movement; the gaze is returned by the painting, the viewing experience becomes interactive and electric. These works painted with a delicate touch prompt us to contemplate the nature of presence and of sensing it – how we recognize other human beings from minor gestures. How few signs are requited for the eye to seek out for a human form and the presence of another in a painting?

Working in series allows a study of the relationships between the elements of a painting. Eerola’s understated, collage-like approach contains reminders of the history of painting, of the tradition of research on space and perception. The precision of the forms and picture surfaces, along with the relationship between the works’ interior spaces, in turn, undermines recognition of the figurative elements and gives greater depth to the spatial movement away from us – and towards us. The works stop to take a breath; their internal tension opens up access to other spaces, perhaps to other worlds.

Eeva-Riitta Eerola (b. 1980) graduated from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in 2010 and also studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-arts de Paris. She has exhibited in several group and solo exhibitions in Finland and abroad, e.g. at Turku Art Museum, Finland in 2017 together with the video artist Jenni Toikka, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen, in 2015 and Gallery Jaus, Los Angeles, 2014. Latest solo show, Senses of the Other, was seen at Helsinki Contemporary in the spring of 2017. Eerola’s work is represented in a number of Finnish art and museum collections, such as those of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Saastamoinen Foundation, Sara Hildén Art Museum, and the Wihuri Foundation. Eerola worked in the internationally prestigious ISCP (International Studio & Curatorial Program) residence program in New York in 2016. In addition to the exhibition at Helsinki Contemporary, Eerola has continued her collaboration with Jenni Toikka: a site-specific exhibition will be seen in France, at Maison Louis Carré in September 2019.

Gallery name: Helsinki Contemporary

Address: Bulevardi 10, Helsinki

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

Open: 09.08.2019 - 01.09.2019