Installation view from gallery entrance.
Installation view from back of gallery.
Installation view of "Hesa," Kylmänen and Pelkonen's set of tonal lithographed and woodcut wallpapers installed as a large-scale mural.
Still from Ari Pelkonen's "Remain," 2014, HD video, 2-minute loop
Valpuri Kylmänen's "Did you hear something?" 2012, Lithograph on paper, 25 x 25 inches
Valpuri Kylmänen's "Sacky," 2014, Lithograph on paper, 33 x 23 inches
Valpuri Kylmänen's "No parking here to corner," 2014, Lithograph on paper, 25 x 37 inches
Valpuri Kylmänen's "Violent Violet Vent," 2014, Lithograph on paper, 38 x 27 inches
Valpuri Kylmänen's "Hair air drying," 2014, Lithograph on paper, 38 x 27 inches
Valpuri Kylmänen's "Heat Wave," 2014, Lithograph on paper, 33 x 23 inches
Valpuri Kylmänen's "Humble dry," 2014, Lithograph on paper, 42 x 30 inches
Ari Pelkonen's "Green Eyes," 2014, Woodcut and acrylic on canvas, 35.5 x33.5 inches
Ari Pelkonen's "Hold," 2014, Woodcut and acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 37.5 inches
Ari Pelkonen's "Jää," 2014, Woodcut and acrylic on canvas, 45.5 x 37.5 inches
Ari Pelkonen's "Back of Your Hands," 2014, Woodcut and acrylic on canvas, 28.5 x 22 inches
Featuring Valpuri Kylmänen Remling and Ari Pelkonen
Western Exhibitions, Chicago: July 26 - August 23, 2014
PC Galleries at Providence College: November 12, 2014 – January 17, 2015
Helsingistä is a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Helsinki-based artists Valpuri Kylmänen and Ari Pelkonen. This exhibition is the first in-depth presentation of the artists’ work in the United States, and is organized by PC Galleries Director and Curator Jamilee Polson Lacy for Western Exhibitions in Chicago, Illinois, and PC Galleries at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.
Helsingistä intertwines Kylmänen and Pelkonen’s ongoing artistic experiments with printmaking traditions, collaborative processes and gestural renderings of life. Kylmänen displays the latest series of her signature lithographic prints, in which bizarrely staged and slightly abstracted still-life tableaus figure prominently. Pelkonen includes a small body of work which includes his most recent “woodcut paintings”—woodcut printing on canvas combined with layers of acrylic paint—of tightly cropped and abstracted human figures, alongside a related video work entitled Remain.
Kylmänen and Pelkonen have been instrumental to one another’s practices as both commercial printmakers and experimental fine artists for over a decade. To honor their cooperative history, this exhibition also unveils their first fully collaborative artwork: a set of tonal wallpapers installed as a large-scale mural.
About the Artists
Valpuri Kylmänen Remling’s lithographs depict objects and scenes which are visualizations of outrageous word combinations sourced from quirky, everyday situations and conversations—phrases like violent, violet, vent; pushing the cushion; no parking from here to corner—are translated into beautifully silly still lifes. Further demonstrating the folly and everyday comedy that inspires her work, the artist messily draws and handprints each artwork, using barely-there pastel color palettes on lightly tinted papers.
Kylmänen (b. 1980, Rovaniemi, Finland) is an artist, educator and master printer living and working in Helsinki, where she co-owns and operates Helsinki Litho, an internationally renowned fine art lithography workshop. Her lithographs and installations are included in numerous museum and private collections, and have been shown throughout Finland, the EU and Southeast Asia. Kylmänen holds a MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts in Helsinki and trained as a master printer at the Tamarind Institute for Fine Art Lithography in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Ari Pelkonen works with a mix of traditional printmaking and abstract painting. He continues to explore this technical and aesthetic cross-looming, which he calls “woodcut painting,” in order to find the middle ground between the spontaneity of painterly gestures and the slow, methodical tendencies of woodcutting and engraving. Resulting from the dissonance between such techniques, Pelkonen’s portraits of the human body are quite melancholic and, at times, haunting.
Pelkonen (b. 1978, Pori, Finland) is an artist and educator living and working in Helsinki. His cross-disciplinary artwork is included in numerous museum and private collections, and has been shown throughout Finland, the EU and Japan. In 2012, upon being named the Finnish Young Artist of the Year by the City of Tampere, the Tampere Art Museum published a catalog raisonné and presented an eponymously titled retrospective exhibition of his work at the Tampere Art Museum. Pelkonen holds a MFA from the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts.