Under the Gaze
Contemporary Art from Finland (1)
Opening: 28. 09. 2023, 7 pm
Mika Karhu, Niina Räty, Kari Vehosalo
The first exhibition in the new series of Finnish contemporary art at Wolf & Galentz focuses thematically on mechanisms of subject constitution in modernity, power relations and actual or imagined free will. A special focus is on Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality.
About the artists
Based on many years of study of psychology, neurology, philosophy and political theory, in his art Mika Karhu deals with human emotions – psychological aspects of being human – and how these are shaped by social structures and power relations. A particular focus is on trauma, fear and vulnerability. In his sombre ink paintings in shades of grey, black and white, the dark represents the shadow side of human existence, violence, depression, terror and that which we do not (cannot) talk about; the light represents knowledge, hope.
Mika Karhu, born in 1969 in Joensuu, Karelia, Finland, studied fine arts and graphic arts at the North Karelia College of Art and Design, the Institute of Printmaking at Lahti University, the University of Art and Design Helsinki and received his PhD in fine arts from Aalto University in Helsinki, where he now teaches art.
He has exhibited his art in many solo and group exhibitions in Finland and internationally, and his works are included in several public collections. He lives and works in Hyvinkää and Helsinki.
In the last years I have painted many fish and even caught a few.
My work builds on traditional still-life, nudes and portraits, but focuses on the form and features of the main subject. With these paintings I want to point out the bodily similarities between fish and reposing humans. In essence, both are just tubes of flesh, wordless lumps of quietness in a clammy skin.
Niina Räty, born 1973 in Lahti, lives and works in Helsinki.
She studied at Liminka Art School, Akureyri School of Visual Arts, Lahti Institute of Fine Arts and she graduated with an MFA from the Academy of Fine Arts Helsinki. She has shown her work in numerous exhibitions in Finland, Germany, USA, Great Britain, Sweden and Belgium and she has received several grants from different Finnish institutions.
Kari Vehosalo’s art gives form to the shared abstract social reality. Social norms, care, work, death, pleasure and pain are present in his art, but detached from familiar meanings. Vehosalo’s pictorial language plays with the sense of reality by representing things and worlds that are true, but not real. Through the process of alienation, Vehosalo’s artistic practise enables the constant re-evaluation of the ontological map that we hold up against the world.
In his art Vehosalo has dealt extensively with issues concerning power. His works explore the psychopathology of everyday life and the structures of reality.
Kari Vehosalo (born 1982 Finland) has graduated from Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Institute of Fine Arts, and Aalto University, University of Art and Design. Vehosalo is represented in many major collections, among them KIASMA – museum of contemporary art, Sara Hildén Art Museum, Helsinki Art Museum, Lahti Art Museum. He lives and works in Helsinki.