Statement

The paintings from 2010 onward by Finnish painter and sculptor Alvar Gullichsen (b. 1961) are born from visions of inner spaces and archaic geometric patterns, with the intention to create a timeless, universal visual language.

The artist, grandson of the mecenate Maire Gullichsen, studied at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts 1984-88, and debuted in 1989 at Galleria Krista Mikkola, Helsinki. Throughout the 1990's Alvar Gullichsen became known for his cartoon-inspired oil paintings and the fictional corporation Bonk Business Inc. Between 1999 and 2002 he was member of the Helsinki-based visionary art collective ROR-Revolutions on Request.

In 2002 Gullichsen travelled to Benin, West Africa as artist-in-residence at the Finnish culture center Villa Karo. The journey to Africa had a profound impact on his artistic process. At Galerie Anhava in 2003 Gullichsen presented a large series of color-saturated and expressive gouache landscapes, painted in a state of flow during his stay in Grand Popo, Benin.

Between 2003 and 2010, his paintings transformed into abstract, geometric patterns superimposed on landscapes. Gradually, these landscapes were stripped away to reveal a sharp, modernist graphic interplay between the surface of a painting and the space suggested within it. This new style was premiered at Galleria Heino, Helsinki in 2011. Inspirational sources can be found in western modernism with its abstract tradition of painting and architecture, in the murals of the South African Ndebele people, in the cultures of the American indigenous peoples and in Tibetan mandalas.

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